Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


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Truths and Facts. Does Science prove anything?

There is a great deal of interest of us in examining claims of ‘truths’ and ‘facts’. In such examination there is a noticeable stress on scientifically proven facts which can be taken as fundamentally true. This is possibly because mathematics is the language of Science and we make mistake thinking mathematical proofs to be reflecting the essence of scientifically proven facts.

Does science necessarily prove anything? The way mathematics proves a proposition?

It is surprising that such a basic debate cannot be laid to rest and a conclusion arrived at even after 1934 book by Karl Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

Alan Moghissi, Matthew Amin and Connor McNulty of Institute for Regulatory Science, Alexandria, Va wrote to the editor of Science (the magazine) disagreeing with Peter Gleick and 250 members of the (US) National Academy of Sciences writing to the editor of Science : All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything.

Is there an absolutely proven scientific fact?

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    May 26 2013: Depends on what you understand with proven.

    As inductive reasoning is stating something being likely or not given certain assumptions.

    As such: science is a way to formulate your assumptions, observe, and infer from your assumptions what is likely.

    If you assume there is a reality and it is knowable through observation that is at least partly reliable, you can actually infer quite a lot of things.
    A lot of these findings are well documented and easy to verify.

    I cannot think that there are better ways to reason, especially if you want to understand reality as good as possible.

    Nothing can prove something definitely (including this statement)... so accept it and go with the amount of certainty that can be given (trough the methods of your choice, but I recommend the rational scientific way).
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      Jun 5 2013: This post showed up as the highest rated post, so I decided to reply to it, hoping it would be read and answered by the most thoughtful of answers or thoughtfully not answered, possibly even thumbs up'd.

      Quick answer to the question, does Science prove anything?


      Long answer to the question, does Science prove anything?

      First let me break down the question, "Does science prove anything?"

      I am taking science to mean something along the lines of this::
      The activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural...

      And prove to mean: to demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument:

      Anything: All things that exist.

      The laws of induction and deduction are used to measure perceptual data and see if anything exists, even, let alone proof of anything.

      Basically our brain, uses its rational faculty to integrate percepts, input from the five senses or sensory input, into concepts and things.

      If we are honest about these concepts, we will see that anything we can think of, is true, because it is based on perceptual data from the real world. And since reality is objective, based on again, percepts being integrated into conceptual data, ie anything proved are the only things that can be measured. It is obvious to see that anything is something science proved. If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist.

      I would not like to argue memorized answers or ones with the context dropped, if you are trying to argue by attacking me stating that reality is subjective, please state something, using your "wildest" imagination, that cannot be proven, but please stay within the given parameters of "anything". If you can do that, then your argument is worth posting at least.
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        Jun 7 2013: Tone,

        I quite get what you are saying. The difference you and I make are only one assumption:
        "we can assume reality as a fact"
        If you assume the above, and the next (which I follow): "our sensory imput is sufficiently reliable (for percieving reality)", then I think you are completely right.

        The reason why I don't assume your assumption, (but for most practical reasons I do assume it), is that - in principle - you can even doubt that there is a reality (as we can't claim we know it completely and how it operates). This means that you need to assign at least a minimum amount of uncertainty (small, but non-zero).

        So I think we are quite on the same line
  • May 18 2013: It seems that as more knowledge is gained regarding the natural world, the more questions regarding the natural world we have. If anything is observable it is that the world as we know it is constantly changing and nothing is ever static. WE see this with the expanding universe but we also see this in our personal lives. Each day that passes consists of new opportunities and experiences that change who we are and how we psychologically navigate our environment.

    In terms of science, quantum theory supposes that all things, even reality itself is based in probability and natural processes such as gravity have the slight probability of completely changing. One day we may wake up and be gravitated towards the ground but according to quantum theory, one day we may wake up to find that gravity no longer exists. Everything thus becomes probability and it is only our human desire for concrete understandings and ordering our world that we perceive things as undisputed fact.

    The paradigm of education is the more we learn, the less we know which, in the case of science, is quite evident.
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      May 20 2013: Evan.... "...In terms of science, quantum theory supposes that all things, even reality itself is based in probability and natural processes such as gravity have the slight probability of completely changing. One day we may wake up and be gravitated towards the ground but according to quantum theory, one day we may wake up to find that gravity no longer exists..."

      While it's true that probability is used to analyze conditions in quantum physics, I don't believe the probabilities you suggest are really a main stream notion.

      You appear intelligent and young. I would like you to consider this in your lifetime (mine is almost over).

      If in the beginning there was nothing....... would there not always be nothing, having nothing to alter this situation with?
      Is it possible that because we behold a reality with our awareness that something would naturally have to always exist in order to get around the idea that nothingness is not a real possibility? In simpler words -there never was a beginning that could be derived from nothingness, as we understand it to be.

      • May 21 2013: Hi John,

        Thanks for this.

        I honestly think it depends on which school of thought one subscribes to. Materialism and pragmatism certainly suggest so. I personally am not knowledgeable enough to form an argument for one way or the other.

        I would suggest though that there is substantial evidence for the big bang theory although we don't necessarily understand it's cause. The Western notion of causality though comes from Ancient Greek philosophy, so perhaps liberating ourselves from that will allow us to think that something can indeed be derived from nothingness.
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          May 21 2013: Western, Northern, Eastern, Southern and all points in between. Our DNA indicates we are all the same. Notions can be introduced into human thought but ultimately, it can be broken down into something familiar to us all.

          Just keep it in mind. :)

  • Jun 4 2013: I'm a physicist with a PhD and working at a large federal research institute. I'm a "hobby philosopher", too.

    And I think that it is an absolutely scientifically proven fact since about two thousand years
    that we cannot know a single thing for sure. Unless we define things, like in Mathematics: that works fine.
    "I think, therefore I am" is nothing else but a (circular but still useful) definition of thinking and being. Science can only deduce consequences from presuppositions, science cannot prove that a presupposition is true and that the used logic is applicable to the real world.

    Science is striving to provide simple rules to explain our observations. And based on that rules we can make predictions. And that allows us to develop new things. The laws of physics allow us to build a rocket to go to the moon and they help us to design new computers called "smartphones". But that doesn't mean that any of them have any truth in them: they are just useful. In 1000 years people will may laugh about our primitive understanding of the universe. But even then, they will not know any truth either. It is impossible to know any truth.

    But anyway it makes sense to believe in some of the laws of physics, just to avoid bumping into walls or falling from trees. Everyone is free to choose his own believes. You just should adjust your believes to your observations.

    I'll close with a joke that will explain it plain and very simple:
    A scientist has a visitor and shows him around. He shows him a large table with dozens of little black boxes: "each of these boxes is hosting an artificial intelligence. They are living in a virtual world and I study their interactions, their believes and their culture." The visitor asks: "This is very exciting! But what is with the one black box on the workbench over there?" "Oh that one is defective. I had to remove it from the experiment. It has the firm believe that it is nothing but a black box on the desk of a scientist."
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      Jun 4 2013: Thank you. I expected to listen from people who are doing science professionally. Do you think professional scientists are much less dogmatic about infallibility of science compared to scientific minded lay people?
      • Jun 4 2013: Yes, I think so.
        Scientist do believe in the methodology of science, but not in the laws of physics.
        As soon as you take the laws of physics for granted, science is over.
        Because the whole purpose of science - as it has been nicely written down by Karl Popper - is to falsify the current theories of science.
        The physicists are not trying to prove the standard model of particle physics with the LHC at CERN, they are trying to find evidence that it is wrong! Once we find something that cannot be explained by the standard model, then we can find a better theory.

        I do actually think that the public believe that science and technology can solve all our problems is very dangerous. Because many of today's problems are actually caused by a rapid development of technology. Science is rather harmless, but the fast proliferation of new technologies in a big scale is always dangerous. Because the consequences are difficult if not impossible to predict. Who would have thought 100 years ago that burning coal and oil could do any global harm? Or 40 years ago that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) as used in refrigerators could do any harm to anything? Once a new technology has been proliferated world-wide, then it is often not so easy to get rid of it again.
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        Jun 5 2013: Hi again, Pabitra.

        Just wondering about terminology - how would you define scientist and researcher? How would you define scientifically minded lay people?

        In my opinion a combination of all of the above plus innovation in technology can in fact (or in truth...) influence this terminology and the definitions.

        For example - we can say that Leonardo da Vinci can be defined as a scientifically minded lay person, not only an artist, if we think about his drawings of flying machines and such. Maybe he can also be viewed as an artist with a feel for innovative engineering ahead of his own century. A scientist and a researcher may look at his propositions and discard them or... improve them and make them work.

        I agree with Andreas - new technologies based and scientific discoveries, without enough well-founded, scientific, global and socioal predictive analysis of the long-term consequences, can be dangerous. On the other hand, some of the science and technology can solve our problems, but not without a proper analysis of the consequences of large-scale use of the above.

        Simulation of the consequences, a digital one, is a good idea, one of the tools for making good predictions without actually doing any harm or testing anything on the natural environment as testing itself might also do harm in the long run that can be difficult to see at first.
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          Jun 5 2013: Hi Anna, good to see you here.
          I would define a (professional) scientist as one who does science as full time and remunerative job. A researcher, in this case, is an umbrella term for having projects related to science where a scientist most often collaborate with other scientists, labs etc. (but can work solo in certain cases) with a specific goal. A scientist can be a researcher but not necessarily a researcher has to be a scientist - other fields of study can have researchers too.
          A scientific minded lay person, IMO, is one who has studied some science in schools or appreciates the scientific methods of inquiry, has values mostly based on physical realism but is not connected to science directly as a profession. I think a vast majority of people are in this category.
          There are however few exceptional people who defy this kind of classification on account of their sheer genius or talent. Some of them are inventors and visionaries. Leonardo da Vinci was among such people. I think Nicola Tesla and Ramanujam were of such kind too.
          I agree with both Andreas and you about long term predictive analysis of the consequences of a new technology. But if the technology has an immediate appeal, most often it's long term effect is ignored. Mobile phone technology is one such, I think. Moreover, in a highly complex system (here society) it is very difficult to model an intervention simply because no body is certian about the number of parameters involved.
          In my line of work, I routinely do both physical and mathematical modelling of an engineering intervention in a river in order to predict the outcome. Huge sums of money depend on such predictions, in fact. But crossing over my heart I cannot say such predictions are very accurate always.
        • Jun 6 2013: Language allows you to define words to your liking.
          But to me a scientist is _not_ someone who is well educated in the discoveries of science, but someone who applies the scientific method. And that is - simplified - just the following:
          1 - you make an observation
          2 - you find a "model", an explanation for your observation
          3 - you use your model to make predictions
          4 - you test your predictions with experiments
          5 - you make observations in your experiment
          6 - you continue with step 2.
          Many people think, that only years of study can make you a scientist. But that is dead wrong. Every child can be a scientist and Leonardo da Vinci was certainly one.
          But many people, you call them "scientific minded lay person", I would call them people educated in the results of science, they don't understand the basic principle of science:
          If you believe in your model being the truth, then you stop testing your model. And that means you stopped being a scientist.

          I need to clarify my position on long term predictive analysis: yes, today the market pressure often prevents thorough testing of new products. A drug comes too early on the market and people die. But that is not my worry. I am thoroughly convinced that it is impossible for mankind to predict the future outcome of new technology reliably enough to be on the save side. Every change in our living environment could lead to our extinction. Of course the world is changing rapidly every day and we have been successfully adapting all the time. But that does not mean that we will be able to adapt tomorrow.
          Actually I think that mankind is much more endangered today than it had been 500 years ago. We are heavily relying on modern technology already, mankind wouldn't be able to survive without it. Therefore I would not suggest to drop it :-) But we should be much slower in changing our technologies, and much more humble in our expectations of prosperity and progress. Don't expect science to rescue you once earth is screwed up ;-)
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      Jun 5 2013: The anomaly box discovered the so-called "truth"...and the truth, as you say, is impossible to know :)
      • Jun 6 2013: The "Truth" is often defined as "actual state of a matter" or "conformity with reality".
        But there is evidence that even the actual state of matter depends on the observation:
        quantum theory explains to us, that matter does not behave like we would expect it to behave. The observation itself has an effect on the state of matter and that unobserved states do behave as if they are a mixture of all possible states. Once you've studied quantum physics you should read Hans-Peter Dürr, one of the few physicists who actually do care what the physics models could mean.
        Reality isn't as simple as it appears to be and there may is no truth:
        no state of a matter independent of the observer, no reality independent of the observation.
        Of course this would have no effect on our daily life: there is no "free will" either in the sense that a person could make any decision independent of its environment, but we need to postulate it to be able to hold the person responsible for his/her actions.

        But even if there is a "truth": humans would never be able to identify it as such.
        We can believe in it. Or not.

        PS: I don't think that any other entity, like an anomaly box, could identify it either ;-)
        But that is just my personal believe :-)
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          Jun 6 2013: Thanks Andreas and Pabitra,

          According to the disambiguated explanations provided, I must be a scientist of some uncategorised sort. What a shocking revelation :)

          And a couple of weeks ago I drew a solution that might save airplane users from exposure to radiation. Leonardo would be proud of me. I lost the picture though, but remember the idea, would probably be unpopular among budget airlines, so I'll keep my head down :)

          None of the text in the comment above is my fault as there is no free will. It can be defined as "actual state of the matter" (truth) but not "conformity with reality" - no conformity above, I should probably conform and go and do the dishes instead of drawing improvements to airplanes. But that's just a personal belief of other boxes on the desk.

          Best wishes :)
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    Jun 3 2013: nothing proves anything.

    like religious belief, science is just one path open to you for making sense of the world. people are free (if they're lucky) to choose which version they prefer because all of them are absolutely right and none of them are.

    problems only arise when people insist on other people seeing things the same way they themselves do. this never works and is unnecessary for a person to believe in something.
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    May 28 2013: "I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure about anything."

    - Richard Feynman

    Science can prove theories wrong by showing that they don't agree with experiment.
    However, science can never definitively prove anything right - it's always possible to come along and show that a theory is wrong, that an experiment doesn't agree.
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      May 29 2013: This is a very good point. The job of a scientist is not to prove but to disprove. Science is evolution of ideas - "survival of the fittest", so to speak.
      • May 29 2013: everyone should go base on there own perspective on things, science to me is far more understanding than the whole world. first of all when people of this earth experiment externally but i experiment internally, do you want to know the equation for the universe?
      • May 29 2013: the equation for the universe is ( i = 1i ) ( infinite becomes one, therefore one becomes infinite)
        this is the same equation but in your understanding

        (infinite = 1 infinitely)
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    May 24 2013: This debate has completed almost half of its allotted time. I think there is a substantial majority towards the idea that science does NOT after all prove anything with absolute certainty.
    I think it may be necessary here to clarify that this debate does not seek to under value science, it's achievements and its contribution to human society. At best, it may seek to place science at a practical and functional basis and remove some dogma that it may gather in the process.
    It is useless to project technology and its success as any point of argument in this debate, it will be like projecting missionary schools, nursing/care giving, art and architecture as points of argument in favor of faith based religion's relevance in life.
    Let us focus on the key question : Does science prove anything as absolute truth? Or is it the real goal of science?
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      May 24 2013: First - we are limited to humanity standards of knowledge
      Second - researchers and theorists and writers, in a collective community of academics, make the standards
      Third - we cannot know absolutes without first objectives. Objectivity comes from the second clause.
      Fourth - an absolute truth, is true within itself, therefore there must be various ways to find that truth
      Fifth - science should be regarded no differently as any other field of study, therefore SCIENCE is not unitary in any conceptualization - especially since we have HARD and SOFT sciences.
      Fifth additional - just like math, art, history, social studies, etc. There are MANY ways to practice and view these fields of study, to believe that one field is better at answering questions than the next misses the mark on first and second clause.

      The real goal of "science" (I am so tired of overstating this word for argument sakes) is no different than any other field of study - we all want to KNOW, and do so in our unique methods, this does not make any method better than others but different. This whole debate comes underway with the scientist who believe that physicist and biology are the perfect sciences to build off of... Well those thinkers are holding us back collectively. People like the neo-atheist who CLEARLY are biased with their beliefs in their writings, but are still championed because of peer approval, which allows the review to pass.

      So much is not understood for "what is science?" as far as the philosophy of science... All these conversations seem to miss a lot of marks when it comes to community and consensus. Even those things are corrupted by ideas of human nature and the REAL FACT of how corrupt politics are... and who funds developments and research?!?!!? Department of Defense? Military? National budgets? These are just as important to note as what is the output of the research and development. How and why they were developed and researched... in light of what?!?! Profit? Maybe
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        • May 25 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
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        Jun 2 2013: Nicholas, I think what you say is almost totally wrong and beside the question Pabitra is asking. (but maybe it's semantics)

        1) I don't agree that there is such a thing as "human standards of knowledge". there are limits to human understanding. Knowledge already has claims pertaining the outer reality and is not bound by humans.
        2) It does not matter who makes which standards unless you think authority is a valid argument for acceptance. If you happen to make standards that are better, it might be proven and might become accepted by a broader range of people.
        3) what are "first objectives"? I think you mean that certainty can only come form certain things? While this appears to be true intuitively, you might want to check Shannon (I don't know, as I don't get the meaning of what you are trying to say)
        4) I think that what you claim here is not necessary true. It might. I can assume that a particle is measure-able in more than one way (Higgs bosons are inferred through a whole variety of observations, as are neutrino's, and those are about the hardest to measure)
        5) I completely reject that there is a difference between all sciences other than the measurement tools and the validity and reliability of those tools. Furthermore, a field of study, in order to be proper, needs to be scientific. Unless you refer to study of a book, an art or a law in "as-is" method: just acquiring the literal information that is given.
        5b) I still claim that science is the best way, and the best documented way to approximate certainty or knowledge about this universe we live in. It is verifiable and transparent (if not, it can be challenged as not sufficiently documented or proven claim) , as any other method is not (otherwise, it would be incorporated as a scientific tool).
        It is clearly way better than revelation, intuition, learning something written or agreed by authority by heat.
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          Jun 2 2013: As usual I'd just like to say the I agree with you Christophe, for all the reasons listen above.
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          Jun 2 2013: My arguments are in the attempt to be truly objective, which requires making humans part of the equation, not apart.

          1. How can that statement be true if we do not have another species of humanoids in which to compare our research and development to? We have standards to knowledge bound to each culture of science that must be followed in order to progress. These standards are made by tradition of men (mostly) and therefore are our limitations in respected fields of study. Knowledge doesn't exist without first a human or series of humans looking for that knowledge, and although it may exist before we discover it, it still must go through human filters of already knowledge to be categorized and built upon... A process in which knowledge never stands without a human being. A human has standards, whether social or instinctual, we cannot go beyond that level of understanding (of ourselves in relation to the universe) and believe we can be practical with such knowledge.
          2. Authority is a valid argument - expertise should be respected, but by no means the only source of knowledge
          3. "We cannot know absolutes without first objective [truths]" - my bad // But, the link you shared is part of cognitive science in respects to A.I and brain-mapping! Which in a recent paper I read (I'll have to find it) the argument for A.I research was to figure advance theories for computers to communicate, not just one with itself, but many with others. The premise was based off of the fact humans solve problems better in groups than by themselves (looking at a website like twitter with hashtags). So,for computers to talk: first step creating a language for us to share, goals or project to work on, attempt to complete until done.
          3.a. I do not see objectivity and absolutes as being the same concept, like most do. Objectivity is limited to humanity, as it requires consensuses, communities, and/or consistencies in order to be true. Absolutes are true within themselves.
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          Jun 2 2013: 4. Excellent counter-example Chris! But wasn't the Higgs Boson always just theorized to be true until recently? Before that historic day, the Boson existed in phy sicformulas which NEEDED this symbol for development. So the objective truth we believed was just an assumed particle, is then justified by advanced machinery and visuals to be seen as more and become more so objectively true. We came to the truth in more ways than one, but what is the absolute nature of this particle, is still under scrutiny - there is little to be done with objective knowledge as of now, for we only know part of the absolute truth.

          5. So you reject there are differences while there are differences in method of research? Indeed, all sciences want to do the same thing, but how they do so is not universal, it can't be. Even historians of literature or geologist have to abide by similar codes that a physicist does for academic sakes (peer review), but this in no ways suggest their methods are similar in anyway. The difference between SOFT and HARD science exist for good reason - social and brain sciences are still figuring out what terminology/conceptuals to identify the problems with, while math and bio-sciences have figured out terminology/conceptuals for decades and are now able to worry more about the expansion of theory on hard numbers and facts. By these ideas of soft and hard science alone, makes for the methods to be vastly different. Two sides of the same coin, yes, but different attitudes.
          5b. I clearly do not want to dismiss science as important, but I am attempting to put that truth into a different perspective. The overstatement of the word "science" goes too far, too commonly, today. Without realizing that "science" is dependent on 3.a. and the idea of community being more influential than truth. Kuhn should beat Popper in the final say, always. If science is to be the best, than science should still be understand no differently than any other field of study!
    • MR T

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      May 24 2013: Fair point! my comments have veered away a bit.

      Does science prove anything as absolute truth? Close as your gonna get without being religious.

      Is it the real goal of science? ... The goal is the answer to whatever question the scientist poses. Whether its food security or medicine, the two don't necessarily have to be linked in some greater whole that is 'the struggle to find absolute truth'. Its just practical.
  • MR T

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    May 24 2013: Wow, the amount of times someone that doesn't understand what science is has said to me

    "science is just theories anyway' or 'science is never 100% so nothing science finds is true' or 'science is just another way of thinking about things'

    Science is a PROCESS, you have an idea, conduct an experiment in a LOGICAL way, get a result then publish so other people can repeat the experiment and scrutinise you.

    So far it is the ONLY decent process humanity has discovered for investigating the world around us and producing reliable, useful information. There is a reason the technology in hospitals or modern computers isn't made by reading horoscopes or the bible. Would you deny it to be TRUE that both these devices save lives in some way or another?
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      • MR T

        • +1
        May 24 2013: The origin of the word science is quite irrelevant, the meaning of words can change over time, this discussion is about what science is now.

        Spot on! science is the main process used for advancing technology. Its more of a general statement I made using specific examples but what Im saying is that I'm tired of hearing people so easily 'poo poo' a methodology that gives the world so much!

        I can quite confidently say that science/technology has saved more lives than say horoscopes, as I can think of a million ways in which science does on a daily basis, a million more than for horoscopes, ask your self the same question, how many can you think of for each?

        Of course I cannot say that is absolute 100% fact as with anything but if everyone had to note that at the end of every statement, they would waste a lot of time!
        • May 26 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
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      May 24 2013: @MR T: I think it is highly probable that Peter Gleick understands what science is. You can google his background. It is also highly probable that Karl Popper understood what science is. I did not start this debate on the reactions of common folks. Why do you think these experts are so doubtful about the absolute knowledge of science?
      • MR T

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        May 24 2013: Its my belief that its not possible to have absolute knowledge about anything at any time, science of course is no different. The essence of that is that we are fundamentally human and limited in our capabilities.

        Say you have an experiment and the result of which has a 99.99% certainty. You can say what you have found is likely to be fact, this is useful as now you can use it to make decisions. Whether it is absolute truth or not is irrelevant, if you know something has 99.99% certainty of being correct then it is pretty useful.

        In my opinion the only big limit of the scientific process is that it cant tell you what questions you should be asking in the first place.

        Lastly who is saying the results of science are absolute anyway?
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          May 24 2013: You are talking about uncertainty on account of observational limitations. I think science has revealed uncertainty at a more fundamental level - where things are uncertain even if there is infinite precision of observation.
          If things are that uncertain fundamentally, the ideas like 'correct' and 'pretty useful' become subjective. I mean it can be pretty useful to believe that there is a supernatural God who is looking after our actions - useful because that can help to maintain a moral order.
          I have referred a link in my OP. I think it gives a fair enough idea about who is saying results of science are absolute.
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    May 22 2013: Yea.
    Science Proved a lot.
    I could go On stating alot of things that science proved but i won't
    Just know that Science Proves a whole lot of things.
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      • May 25 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
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    May 19 2013: Science is the proposal of truths that can be explained experimentally. We can place a living human in an airless container and see that a lack of oxygen, for a certain duration of time, will cause the human to cease to live.

    Because such experiments with humans are unlawful, animals, having similar metabolic functions to humans beings, are used and the conclusion is always the same. The animals die.

    The scientific process can prove some conjunctures, that are completely incontestable, without the use of mathematics: if you drop a solid object having substantial mass, in the earth's gravity field, in an environment devoid of air, it will fall to the bottom of the container. This is a indisputable fact of the scientific process.

    “Science is both a body of knowledge and a process. In school, science may sometimes seem like a collection of isolated and static facts listed in a textbook, but that's only a small part of the story. Just as importantly, science is also a process of discovery that allows us to link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings of the naturalworld.“~ttp://

    “Often math is seen as dealing with entities that have parallels in the natural world but don't themselves exist in that world. Unlike, say, ants or atoms, the number two is not generally viewed as a physical entity, but as a powerful abstraction that can be used to describe physical entities. On the other hand, one could also argue that mathematical abstractions arise directly from the natural world — that the fact that two ants plus two ants yields a set of four ants is simply a description of how objects exist in the natural world.” ~

    "When one wants to drive a nail into a piece of wood, it is better to use a hammer instead of pliers, even though it is possible to accomplish the same task with either tool." ~ John Ray
    • May 20 2013: While science is a logical derivation to name a rational process of cause and effect that all phenomena is acknowledged to follow, had of necessity to depend on numerical logic to be precise. Primarily, while religion too professed to understand and define the same manifestation process, its emphasis on a preordained logic, led the scientific researcher to counter it with an accurate proof, which mathematics was supposed to do. But the rub was the mathematical process itself. In order to solve complex problems, a shortcut was introduced that led to an approximation at instantaneous levels, which took away the rationality of numerical logic. It is a fact that experimental discoveries achieved extraordinary insight into natures ways but converting the same into profound theoretical principle met its nemesis in uncertainty and inaccuracy that could be resolved only through statistics , a name for averaging out inaccuracy. Intellectual clarity based on absolute objectivity could have saved the day, but the mad rush to fame and name has left the acme of a scientific theory of theories bereft and orphaned. Its not too late for Sankhya has what science today deserted and it can bring in a paradigm shift to gain the Shangrilla that humanity deserves so badly.
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        May 20 2013: “While science is a logical derivation...”~ G.

        I disagree. As I demonstrated previously, Scientific conclusions can be reached with little or no math whatsoever.

        “Primarily, while religion too professed to understand and define the same manifestation process...”~ G.

        The “Reverend” Dr Robert Stirling -a Scottish “clergyman”- invented the Stirling engine. His knowledge of heat entropy and mathematics was reverently limited. He was able to understand the processes involved in creating the engine that used temperature differentials as it's source of power. It was his only contribution the the scientific process. He used simple trial and error (and some say prayer), based on an inkling of thought about how the process worked.

        “ In order to solve complex problems, a shortcut was introduced that led to an approximation at instantaneous levels, which took away the rationality of numerical logic.”~ G.

        Einstein solved complex problems by reducing them to simple algebraic equations.

        The function 1/x implies a condition whereby as x becomes increasingly large, 1/x approaches the value zero, but can never be zero. How can statistics resolve our axiomatic inclination that 1/x will eventually reach zero, yet, by mathematical rules is not allowed to? How is it possible, with mathematics to average out the inaccuracies that prevent 1/x from reaching the value of zero? Is math itself flawed?

        “Intellectual clarity based on absolute objectivity could have saved the day, but the mad rush to fame and name has left the acme of a scientific theory of theories bereft and orphaned.” ~ G.

        I beg to differ. We have landed on the moon and other planets. Something is working correctly. A unified field theory is still possible in the future.

        Sankhya is a tool, nothing more. It has no God-like elements nor is it a path to pure understanding.
        Just ask Pythagoras and his buddies.

        John Moonstroller.
        • May 21 2013: Exactly what I feared, Faith and belief creeping in, surely throws out absolute objectivity with all its derivatives or tools . The principle of self similarity contains geometries of every kind from which the most elegant PHO state (which Physics has yet to find) was derived thousands of years before western man started organised articulation. Amen
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          May 21 2013: I think you misstated something a bit here that you might want to correct. You write simultaneously of x becoming increasingly large and of x reaching, or not reaching, the value zero. These two conditions must be inconsistent. I believe you meant that as x becomes increasingly large, 1/x approaches zero.

          The idea that Einstein was not good with math is, you will find, a myth.
  • May 15 2013: What scientific facts?

    There is not a single thing i learned in school in the 80's that is now correct.

    I mean everything. Bio, Geo, Phys, History. And Astronomy is the worst.
    I am studying asteroid mining, and can tell you, there is not a single fact, physical sample,or mathematical model that supports disc accreation theory. That reverberates all the way thru cosmology.

    Most science now, except some bio, is ALL math now. That isn't reality, it is an easily falsifiable fantasy.

    We can't even find the missing electrostatic energy form, here on earth, or as dark energy.
    Following the quantum zoo escape isn't leading us anywhere.

    The general public is starting to realize, that all new sci discoveries, are shoehorned into a few influential professors worldviews. That is more of Confucianism than science.
    • May 16 2013: Absolutely correct question.The reason is clear for as of now human knowledge is based on an unidirectional rationality that's called a left brained syndrome . Holistic thinking needs the right bran to collect and sum up while the unbridled left brain gallops away into infinity. Fundamental need today is find a fundamental intellectual platform to know that facts start from there. Surprisingly the Vedic intellectuals found that platform as the axiomatic base from which to source all human scientific derivations following the principle of self similarity and scale in-variance that was not tolerant of human intervention with irrational and adhoc substitutions. Calculus the god of scientific mathematics, starts on a blunder. Two simultaneous parameters that compulsorily has a zero time interval gives an asinine answer that is beyond this Universe.
      Your accretion theory will work if you use Sankhya Unified theory based on axioms and operated by self-similar and scale invariant principles. Accretion or solidification in space operates on a simple parameter. Space is not empty nor is it passive. Its a cauldron of dynamic activity called the perpetual harmonic oscillatory state (PHO) and new to Physics. (Cern was blundering to find it) Accretion takes place at harmonic resonance and in a three dimensional continuum space is. As a quick one if you divide the reciprocal of so called Newtons gravity constant by 22400 or the so called molar volume value, you will get the square of the interval that binds matter in space. As that interval reduces the binding / density increases. If you want to know the whole caboodle, visit and read the abstract and the PHO state PDF files . You will know that gravity is just the PHO state in transmigration when the resonance is broken in the sea of stuff that makes up space.
      • May 16 2013: Science claims speed of light theory in a vacuum on earth or as close to a vacuum as possible. As you point out and science itself points out, through its earth to moon and back, test of light, light does not hold together in space.

        It seems science loves teaching stupidity. Gravitational lensing and gravity itself cannot be defended. Ted denies me a reply button, because I challenge teds desires for mediocrity.

        Ted also issues many challenges, but they refuse to take challenges. Very hypocritical.
        • May 17 2013: and science knows well about the variations of light in space. so well actually that we can now measure a few millimeters change in star light years away, even through the shimmering of our atmosphere. that is accuracy to a billionth of a degree, and you say science is stupid?
      • May 17 2013: I see no reply button to your statement or to Ben Jarvis. Why not!

        Also,--Less than 5 minutes ago: When I first posted to Ted, the --edit/delete button appeared, but after awhile, I would see the reply button on those posts and I was able to reply to my own posts. Now that several people have replied, I see. Maybe it was a glitch I experienced. Once I see how something works, when it changes, I try to move with the change. When it changed and I got no response, also what seemed no way to reply to others and more, while being heavily censored, I challenge, to find out.

        Get over myself? I'm just trying to find someone that can talk on my level. By you innuendo, you seem self assured, would you care to defend science, with the full help of the net against me--with respect to gravitational lensing or light theory or gravity?

        Tell ya what, find the smartest scientist in those areas and I will at the least, challenge them, but more likely stump them.

        Take my challenges and find out.
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    May 14 2013: If we want to ask if Science can prove anything we should talk about what a proof actually is.

    Lets talk about truth first.

    Truth results from a thought construct of definitions, before i can argue wether something is true or not ill have to define terms or circumstances under which an observation is true. As such truth results from a number of rules which we as humans defined inorder to be able to communicate information.
    If i define light of the wavelength of 680nm as being blue. And i then measure light of said wavelength and say this light is blue its perfectly true (even though light of this wavelength was previously (before i defined it as being blue) defined as being infrared) as such there can only be truth within a set of prepositions and truth is not an absolute its in itself a concept created by us which roots so deep in our beliefes that we came to expect some kind of cosmic truth (or lets call it natural truth).

    What we defined as being a proof (let me citate wiki): "A proof is sufficient evidence or an argument for the truth of a proposition."

    If measure the wavelength the data which results from measuring is my proof however it needs to fullfill the requirements of what we defined as true.
    In the mathematical sense we defined the set of rules as such there can be a definite proof. In natural science however
    nature steps in and here it gets ugly. We dont know the rules of nature infact we only know the results and they are always true.
    For example we observe an apple falling off a tree this happening is in some sense the expression of truth (sorry to get a bit philosophical) as the apple wouldnt fall off the tree if the rules of nature didnt allow for it.
    As a consequence we cant observe the "not truth" of nature as such there is no "not truth" so whats the use of the concept of truth when talking about nature anyways? -none id say.
    • May 14 2013: Truth as facts is identical with the state of reality or real happenings. Jump off a cliff and analyse that event. If the derivation of that process by man's intellectual abilities is exact EVERY time it becomes a proof. If the derivation of that process is axiomatic (the way cause and effect works in proportional terms) then it is correct for it is not dependent on man inserting data to complete it. Human thinking has evolved through experience and hence is not axiomatic. Take the concept of velocity so called velocity of light. Its an aberation. In a substantial field of something there can be no velocity like a car travreling on a road. Its transmigration of pressure from an interactive state that is not balanced. Hence the oscillatory rate of that pressure transmigration in the case of light is an AXIOMATIC value . NO ONE CAN CHANGE IT . See and explore the most accurate and factual theory ever created by a man named Kapilla 33000 years back as Sankhya. He left nothing to be discovered by so called modern man
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      May 14 2013: Interesting explanation.
      An important task of epistemology, closely related to defining and explaining truth, is to develop criteria of truth which allow us to reliably and consistently distinguish true from false claims. By your explanation, I am wondering if it will be false to say a light of 681 nm wavelength as blue.
      It gets very confusing because empiricists will define truth one way while existentialists will define it another way. Some say truth corresponds with reality while some say it doesn't.
      From what you describe as truth and proof, it appears science is not a fit candidate to base a belief system on.
      What is your take on that?
      • May 14 2013: Great analysis. Pabitra. Language is not a dependable medium to convey facts in reality. its fuzzy, inexact, illogical structure and context ridden. Number counts AS a RATIO are real, verifiable, precise, not time bound and extrapolation is logical and so axiomatic, which means it facilitates agreement without facetious arguments etc. Even animals are aware of numerical values for a dog will search for the sixth pup that does not return while 5 have. Truth in the sense of Universal accountability is one of balance . Unbalance changes the factual situation every instant whereas a balanced state maintains the same value over a period of time so it is accounted for . If it persists for all times it becomes a fact. Humans or all living entities do not have the continuity of existence to confirm facts as a part of their experience. Hence the only dependable parameter that has validiity by human consent are axioms for they cannot be disproved. Therefor deriving every cause and effect cycle of change in nature based on axioms gives it permanent acceptability. It becomes divine in human emotional terms. Science is a logic that pursues the cause and effect cycle in reality to its end. But Physics is unable because of a mathematical lacuna . Its the hierarchy disease in calculus. Two events occurring at the same instant has a zero time interval and any ratio based on that gives infinity. But that is not TRUE at all in reality. On the surface of the Earth ALL events are simultaneous at a particular moment in reality. The current mathematics cannot trace the cause and effect cycle of all the humans at that instant. But the law of self similarity in a connected medium (space) can do so. This is done as the swabhava or self similar principle. Blue is human classification (error ridden) but in nature it is 3/8th ratio of an interactive cycle.
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          May 15 2013: If by science we are attempting to understand the nature of reality and if science is partially succeeding in finding and formalizing it - there is one tacit assumption in that. Reality is one of a kind - it is invariant. If we take it that truth corresponds to reality, we are then talking about 'the' truth, not merely truths. This is one experiential paradox because reality is clearly relative.

          The axiomatic number counts of Samkhya, which you propose to be giving an axiomatic verifiability of absolute precision is impressive but not free from the paradox I see. In fact the more precise it gets the more it runs the risk of failing to be a true description of reality. I think that is true for any axiomatic system of study including mathematics.

          I may be wrong, but nature does not seem to exist in any precision to me. It does not conform with the perfect and it appears that nature allows possibilities of right, wrong and any superposed states between the two whenever we define one aspect of it.

          A decimal number system is one of many imaginable and it is not the simplest even. Why binary system, for example, cannot be argued in a similar fashion.

          I know of Samkhya just not in sufficient details so my questions may sound shallow :)
  • Jun 9 2013: Science is the best tool people have in regards to obtaining answers about the universe.
    It's not perfect, but it is our most reliable source of information.
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    Jun 7 2013: All so-called "revealed wisdom" should be treated with utmost skepticism. I am reminded of the great quote by Thomas Paine: "Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication-- after that it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it can not be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to ME, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him."

    To actually believe the ramblings of notoriously barbaric, self-anointed prophets requires the utmost credulity! When reading stories of chariots of fire, resurrections and flights to heaven on the back of winged horses, we must ask, "Which is more likely? That the event actually happened, or the individual telling of it was mistaken?" Given that none of us have witnessed these and so many other "wonders," we must reasonably conclude that they never occurred. As Carl Sagan put it, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
    • Jun 9 2013: Allah does not reveal to every human being. He provides guidance through His Prophets who are also humans like us. This has been happening since Adam was born. We can't force Allah to change his ways of doing things. He is all-wise, All-knowing. Secondly, barbaric, self-appointed prophets? I think we should be fair. No Prophet has ever been babaric. They were blessing for humanity. They taught us all good things in life. They fought back against some of us who were barbaric for the humanity. Thirdly, no one was self appointed Prophet. All were appointed by Allah as his representatives to guide the humanity. The followers of existing Prophet knew who was the next Prophet coming. The Christians knew the next Prophet was Muhammad. No self appointed Prophet can survive for long. Fourthly, it is not right to say "not seen, not existing at all". Did you see your grand-grand parents? They existed after all. We do need guidance. Our intellect can take us to some distance through rational thinking, but to be sure moving on the right path, only Divine Guidance provides that 100 % surety. Al-Quran begins where Science ends. Let us combine the two.
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    Jun 4 2013: yes it does. no it doesn't.
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      Jun 7 2013: Schrödinger's cat's type of comment :)
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    Jun 4 2013: Science proves everything. First comes the theory. Then comes the Science. Then comes the Engineering. Then comes the Apple iPad. If you object to science, get a horse and drive a wagon to work. Give up cell phones and go back to key telegraph. If you object to science stop watching TV. Science made TV possible.

    If you don't like science or believe that Science contains both proof and the possibility for a better tomorrow -- fine! Go to Ohio and live with the Amish. They are wonderful people, but they live with 19th century technology.
    • Jun 4 2013: I agree that science can prove certain things, but I think you are coming out too strong right here. First, some comments that you made could be offensive to certain people. Second, science cannot prove everything.

      Can science prove God's existence? Well, you might say yes, because you sound like a person that just loves science(no offense) but we cannot prove God's existence by using science. There are three ways of knowing in our lives. First one is physical example, second one is using our mind to reason, third one is using our heart. God is known by using our heart.
      I am not even religious and I agree with certain things of certain religions.

      Also, there are a lot of things in this world that science cannot prove, or cannot prove with the level of science that we possess right now. The most prominent example might be, "Can science prove why we were created?". I do not think science will be able to do that. (Just my opinion)

      To claim that science proves everything, that is something really strong to say. I hope you are willing to reconsider your comment after reading my reply.

      Thanks, I did not write this reply to offend you.
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        Jun 4 2013: No offense taken. I'm just sharing an opinion. And I hope that I have given you no offense.
        • Jun 4 2013: No offense taken. Just wanted to point out some stuff! It is important that we share opinions.
  • Jun 3 2013: "Is there an absolutely proven scientific fact?"

    Yes, the fact that you exist. If you didn't then you wouldn't be here to question it.

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      Jun 3 2013: Aww, there is nothing scientific in my existence. Or is there? :)
      • Jun 3 2013: The fact that you exist if an absolutely proven fact that you have just proved to yourself by asking the question. - read up on some Rene Descartes :)
        • Jun 3 2013: However, it is not scientifically proven. Taking it literally, you cannot prove something scientifically - using the scientific method.
      • Jun 4 2013: Nothing else but science, only science and all of science if you define science as the application of axiomatic logic where self similarity as the operational mode exists. It means that it is untouched by human imagination let loose.
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    Jun 2 2013: There are laws of nature that exist which scientist agree on, like evolution and the inability to create/destroy "matter," but these laws are ancient to philosophy. Heraclitus "all is water" anybody? All is change... change doesn't equate to evolution some how? Also the idea is Asian... Very much so involved with their understanding of Chi and Chakras, and overall holistic philosophies.

    The Hindu Gods of destruction, creation AND preservation... the idea of checks and balances on a celestial scale... not as fluent here with the theology but I recall someone discussing concepts of 'matter' as more than just physical but ideas also; ideas are material too and follow the same laws as "matter."

    My point in bringing up various philosophies and beliefs is simple - to believe THIS IS THE BEST, gives little impression that one should look else where for thoughts. To really assume "science" is the know-all and ends-all entity of man, is primitive to me. It shows how we ENJOY repeating history. Demonstrates how much ego truly is a problem. But most of all it proves we need to be more collective now than ever before, and to do so is to drop these preconceived notions that one process can trump the rest. By looking at all the processes available, one may truly know which is the best for themselves and perhaps even society.
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      Jun 2 2013: I have a feeling that the description of reality does not have to be so esoteric as super-string theory suggests. It appears to me like we have built a house on a weak foundation and now adding props to sustain the structure so that the whole structure does not collapse.
      But it's just a feeling.
    • MR T

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      Jun 3 2013: I agree its wise to take a step back and think about things in different ways, however what happens when approaching problems through processes such as 'Chi' is put into practice?

      Heres a short list of some of the biggest problems facing mankind today:

      Food security
      Water security
      Climate change
      Rapidly increasing population

      I'd like to look at ALL the processes available for finding solutions to these problems aside from science:

      To begin (I would think) its necessary for any process hoping to address these problems to:

      1. Quantify the problem

      What else would you think an alternative process would need to do? and how would it work?

      (EDIT: I just realised the extent of these problems has been discovered by scientific means and this will have affected our perception of them, perhaps we would barley be aware at all if it were not for scientific reports, so I guess my questions are biased from the outset)
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        Jun 3 2013: "I agree its wise to take a step back and think about things in different ways, however what happens when this is put into practice?"

        I assume only positive outcomes. Check out writers and philosophers who discuss topics of urbanism and poststructuralism - these people are not exactly scientist but are the ones who think about these I ask you, what does your interpretation of "science" have to say about a constantly evolving problem? How do we resolve issues that do not even exist yet, with a hypothesis? Seems counter intuitive to make a plan about something (like society) that is not fully apparent, but it seems productive to already have a multidisciplinary attitude and mindset when facing a problem that is new in the moment.

        Your questions are biased indeed.
  • Jun 1 2013: If science cannot prove facts but disprove them. Cant we indirectly proof fact A, by disproving its negation not-A?

    If this is possible, why does it still makes sense to say that we cannot prove anything?
    • MR T

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      Jun 2 2013: It can't disprove them completely, that is the point.
    • Jun 4 2013: A scientific theory allows you to make predictions. You can test the predictions with experiments. If the experiments show other results than predicted, then the theory must be wrong. But if the experiments confirm the predictions, that does not mean the theory is right! Because there could be a different theory, making the same predictions. And there could be other predictions that have either not been formulated or no experiment has been made to check them, that will eventually prove the theory to be wrong.
      Logic does not really help you here, because there is no useful negation of an equation.
      If you prove that E = mc^2 is wrong, then you know that E != mc^2 , which is really useless.
  • Jun 1 2013: Yes! the fact that we do not have all the variables yet, and probably never will!
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    May 31 2013: "Is there an absolutely proven scientific fact?"
    An obscure question at first glance, but the more I think about it the more valid it seems to become.
    For the sake of keeping things relevant I'm interpreting the question as "Can the scientific method prove anything?"
    The scientific method works in the sense that it may help determine a proximate cause. For example "Why does water boil?" You can use the scientific method to determine that pure water boils once it reaches the temperature of 100 degrees celsius at 1 atmospheric pressure. Yet that only leads to another question "Why does water boil at 100 degrees celsius at?" Once again, with the use of (A much more complex) scientific method you can conclude "It does this because it takes the energy of 100 degrees Celsius to break all of the hydrogen bonds in the water." Once again you can continue to ask "Why do all of the hydrogen bonds break with the energy of 100 degrees Celsius?" And so on...

    It seems the flaw with the modern scientific method is that it works like a chain (or something with more variables like a pyramid, house of cards, ect..)
    Scientific knowledge builds upon itself using previously obtained knowledge. If a presumption previously concurred with the same method is proved wrong, then all facts which depend on that now disproven conclusion lose all credibility as well.

    However observed results are indeed logically factual information. If an experiment can be repeated, get the same results and never fail, then it's as much a fact as a mathematical equation. To claim that it's not a scientific fact that water boils at 100 degrees is like claiming 2+2 does not = 4.
    Then again, this all depends on the first and most natural assumption that the logic cultivated by the human mind is flawless and truthful. And honestly, I don't know how the scientific method could address that question.
    • MR T

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      Jun 2 2013: Thats an interesting way of thinking about it, I have to say though that water doesn't always boil at 100C infact its quite probable that it rarely does, it depends on air pressure, your measuring equipment etc..
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        Jun 3 2013: Haha, you are correct. I'm attempting to address the point that you can get consistent results if you have constant variables, that things are not random and thus can be proved or disproved.
        Thanks for mentioning that, if I wanna make a valid point it's important to have correct information!
        ( Notice I made a slight edit.)
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    May 31 2013: Hi Pabitra
    You focus on the statement "science never absolutely proves anything." What you are missing is that science can disprove things. Since we can make science in areas where new information may change the results, we accept the idea that new information may change what is considered to be a fact. But many scientifically proven facts have been true for as long as there has been science. But still, maybe a new invention or discovery will add a new factor that will change our understanding.
    But when science does prove that something is false, it is far more difficult to believe that a new discovery will make it true.
    Maybe science never absolutely proves anything, but if you believe something that science has disproved, then you are wrong. We have the right to believe what we believe. But that does not make us correct. It does not give us the right to demand that our opinion be seen as valid as any other.
    You ask, "Is there an absolutely proven scientific fact?" There are thousands of them. For example: Why is the sky blue? Because the atmospheric nitrogen gas absorbs energy from many wavelengths of light but releases this energy in blue frequencies only.
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      May 31 2013: Dear Jon Miner,
      I hope you have noticed that I cited a link to show that the same question is present even within the scientific community. The purpose of having this debate, as far as I am concerned, is to examine how we popularly understand the working of science, its process and goal and if that is exactly what science is, professionally.

      I am having problem accepting the observation that sky is blue as a proven scientific fact. I shall agree that it is common knowledge but not proven scientific fact. We humans evolved in a planet at a particular distance from the sun such that our eyes can 'see' a given range of wavelength of all radiations by the sun. An intelligent life on a planet at a different distance from sun and containing similar proportions of atmospheric nitrogen may see an entirely different sky.

      An absolutely proven fact is that on a euclidean plane the squares of base and height of a right angled triangle will always be equal to the square of the hypotenuse.
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        Jun 1 2013: One of the tools of chemistry is that certain chemicals burn with certain colors. For example if you burn table salt you get a yellow flame. It is a scientifically proven fact that when an electron in a higher energy state in nitrogen drops to a lower energy state, a photon of excess energy is released with a frequency that is in the blue color range. This is a repeatable experiment. So the idea that it is common knowledge but not proven is in error.
        Other gasses in Earth's atmosphere also give off other colors, but nitrogen is the most common gas in Earth's atmosphere and its color is dominant. On other planets with other mixtures you would get other sky colors.
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        Jun 1 2013: "An absolutely proven fact is that on a euclidean plane the squares of base and height of a right angled triangle will always be equal to the square of the hypotenuse."
        It is funny, because in reality we can find euclidean plane geometry conditions just as a approximation, some good approximations but never in the exactly conditions.
        So, is absolutely proven fact, but it exist just as a idea.
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        Jun 3 2013: Just a bit of perspective here:

        Let's imagine two organisms built on a silicone-based, not carbon-based chemical chains. They sit around discussing that it is by no means possible that any carbon-based organism can exist on any other sphere, anywhere out there.

        Imagine 2D thinking beings not being able to see that the 3rd D is possible.

        Given the old, perspective-based ideas that i mention above - where are most people now?

        I'm not being mystical, esoteric or philosophical here, for the record. Just trying to contribute to the discussion while trying to say that being interdisciplinary, logical, using both euclidean and other forms of thinking + collective knowledge + imagination - (minus) culturally formed and programmed prejudice will get everybody somewhere.
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    May 29 2013: Pabitra, without context, there is no meaning. General statements are rarely meaningful and cannot be debated.

    All facts must be considered in context. E.g. "Water boils at 100C" is a scientific fact. It is true under certain conditions. Therefore, it's not absolutely true. Atmospheric pressure and content of salt in water can make it false. And on the Sun, this fact is meaningless because there is no liquid water on the Sun.

    Math also has limits. Euclidean geometry hinges on concepts that do not exist in reality: straight line, flat plane. How do you practically define those? Our space is bent by mass. There are no infinite flat planes or infinite straight lines. We do not know if the universe has limits. We can say that light follows a straight path only in a certain context, with certain limitations. But for many practical purposes, light can be used to determine "straightness" or "flatness" quite well.

    Science proves a lot of things, but none of them are "absolute". It does not mean that science does not prove anything.

    And I have not even started to discuss what it means to "prove" and what constitutes a valid scientific method. If we go down that rabbit hole, I can soon lead you to a conclusion that there is no truth, the word "proof" has no meaning, there is no reason to believe that we are reasonable, no way to show that logic can prove anything, etc. I suggest that we do not go there. :-)
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      May 29 2013: "Water boils at 100C" is a fact as revealed by experience. Please explain why it is a 'scientific' fact and not common knowledge. I know people who have no understanding of science know that water boils at a particular mark in a thin tube containing mercury, normally. I doubt it is a scientifically 'proven' fact.
      " I can soon lead you to a conclusion that there is no truth, the word "proof" has no meaning, there is no reason to believe that we are reasonable, no way to show that logic can prove anything, etc. I suggest that we do not go there. :-)"
      I had been there and came back :). But are you suggesting that we pretend science has proven absolute facts? It appears that many believe just that, isn't?
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        May 29 2013: I'm a fan of Hume who wrote: (

        "20. All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a proposition which expresses a relation between these figures. That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe. Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty and evidence.

        21. Matters of fact, which are the second objects of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing. The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible; because it can never imply a contradiction, and is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness, as if ever so conformable to reality. That the sun will not rise to-morrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction than the affirmation, that it will rise. We should in vain, therefore, attempt to demonstrate its falsehood. Were it demonstratively false, it would imply a contradiction, and could never be distinctly conceived by the mind."

        This seems to state that matters of fact can never be conclusively "proven", but abstract ideas can. Ideas can be absolute and perfect. Reality cannot. Even if we demonstrate by experiment that water has a boiling point at certain temperature, we only show that this is true under specific circumstances, but not in general (absolutely)
        • May 29 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
      • May 30 2013: --"Water boils at 100C" is a fact as revealed by experience."--

        No it does not, it all depends on what elevation one is :)
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          May 30 2013: Hmm. Then it is very confusing. My 'normal' may not be everyone's 'normal'.
  • Dan F

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    May 25 2013: There is an uncertainty principle associated with science in terms of the truth and absolute proof of some particular claim(s) due to the nature of science.

    Having said that, it is the methodology and reasoning associated with science that lends itself to what I'd like to think of as a more sane view of the world and consequently more civilized human behavior on spaceship earth.

    Science reflects what appears to be true about the physical world for a single fundamental reason. Although it may be said that the the individual claims of science is that nothing is above being disproven it is also true that there exist an incredible body of knowledge about reality which has stood the test of time by weathering the intellectual storms as standing knowledge. This standing evidence or factually accepted descriptions or theories about the whats, wheres, hows and whys of the world are seldom independent of one another. The reason that is significant is this interlocking nature of the physical world fits so beautifully with Albert Einstein's observation that the most amazing thing about the real world is its comprehensible nature.

    Now for those who question the reality of reality, or that conspiracies are a significant factor in affecting this process, then perhaps the value of science regarding truth and facts begin to melt, but sanity does as well in my view.
    • May 25 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
      • Dan F

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        May 26 2013: I rest my case. Salesmen, salesmen everywhere, but not a thought to think.
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        May 28 2013: I am too complex to accept that simple idea, Danny.
        • May 28 2013: you say its simple, but its hard for you to accept it? for what you call an idea is nothing other than the TRUTH, "Mankind cant handle the TRUTH" or at least not yet.
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        May 29 2013: Oh yes! That is exactly what I am saying. We are hardwired to make sense of complex things, so much so that we miss the obviously simple.
        I think TRUTH (the truth - one and ultimate) has no handle at all. It is frozen in mathematical abstraction. Physical world does not and cannot have one.
        • May 29 2013: The one thing u may not know is that when being a very super intelligent person, people seem not to believe you because they are not on the level of understanding yet. i feel that way. if i was to speak out to the world the world will deny me because they are not on the level of understanding as i am. example: if very intelligent being came from another part of the universe and try to share piece, the world would deny his understanding because they are not ready for the TRUTH. because they are an less understanding than a being who is far more advance not only in knowledge but in Truth.
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  • May 23 2013: There are no absolutes of any kind. There are many observations that lend themselves to this remark.

    Our perception of the world is mediated by components of the real world, light for example, and therefore perception is incapable of being perfectly indicative. We are unable to identify anything perfectly and therefore cannot be perfectly knowledgeable about it. Because we are unable to identify anything perfectly we have no basis for supposing that anything is perfectly identifiable.

    Language is learned. It consists of bits of the real that are understood by a group of communicators to have a common significance. The notion of perfect language is therefore illusory because the identity of a single thing is questionable, common identities that form the basis of our common nouns is even more questionable, and the process of transmitting the language through teaching/learning from one generation to the next reflects the success of language but does not imply that it is perfect.

    The issue of proof is mainly semantic. We must decide what we mean by the word. Typically the word is at its clearest in mathematics where we have agreed elements and procedures. In the scientific context the issue of proof usually arises in the context of achieving perfect, unquestionable, absolute assertions about the world. In science no such proof is to be had. There are organised branches of science where mathematics style proofs are possible because the understanding is effectively mathematical - there are established elements and procedures. But in science although we presume the future will be like the past we unable to absolutely guarantee that this is the case, and for this reason we tend to think of the mathematical proof as being more secure than a scientific one.

    Are there scientific facts and generalisations? Obviously yes. Are they guaranteed as correct for eternity. Obviously not! Is perfect knowledge possible? No - even the question is framed in imperfect language.
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      May 23 2013: As a side note: Imperfection rules. Everywhere we set our attention, nothing is perfect. Perfection and absolutes are abstractions. I think those who realize and appreciate science within this realm, truly practice it. Rest are dogmatists.
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    May 18 2013: Universal truths that will always be true are darn near impossible to find. We can continually test the effects of one thing or another and we can say what we absolutely believe to be true and will happen every time we test something, but that person does not know that one effect will happen for an infinite amount of tests. I believe science and math were invented by man to explain the world around us. Some science may perfectly explain how one particular thing does what it does, but that does not mean that is *why* it does what it does. Our method is still invented although it explains something. So, no I don't believe there is an absolutely proven scientific fact.

    Sorry if I repeated someone's comment or idea within their comment.
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    May 18 2013: nope, not in my book of life give the holographic nature of creation lends itself to near any science may wish prove of it. While string theories elegantly dancing 'tween simple and compLex 'til someS goes AMiss as sHe picks up on where man leaves off. A Ms till mumin automatic, once preggers much as once the universe may have been for manifesting itself in matter. Man studyes life by looking looking back in on life, or from outside in. She, lives it from within the broad array of insights dancing into mind when most fitting, and its truly magical at how the universe has managed to arrange its timing, Hey, science is the art of man's figuring out , what is freely give to one and all, the insights which SPArk our passion, from rattling ourselves into action with joyful noise and great be light, be squeal and smile . How can science, possibly speak of the magic of life of which all the ill , aches and pains have surface while yet another of the tree, as once the elm, now the ash, while we cannot begin to count the maples we've lost and the birches which . . if trees, our inverted lungs, are dying in one way or another, trees which lived 500 years without trying, not strong enough to survive a 100 years at best and now, as one species after another dies off for good . ah, back to our theory, That if it dosn't make sense, is in conflict, wow, I have been totally taken aback by some one whose views just made the whole of my being churn, it just dawned on me that I felt my being digesting the fact that some women could feel such disdainfulfulness towards man. . . how , why, have we lost that loving feeling , science is loveless. money is divisive while each of us is a combo of linage and locale, with every spot on earth absorbing and resonating The Galaxyes sing song, grounding in earth with life's mushroom on the land which rose from neath its briny blue, Science is mindless how can it speak of truth. It is clueless, about life, as is medicine about health. grow U'r own.
    • May 18 2013: There is no theory nor science in nature. Only a real process of cause and effect on one eternally existing elemental thing that formed into many. Its the egotistical human species that took to rumination when their belly was full to get out of that boredom. Out of that boredom rose the anxiety to find away to escape nature's sudden acts of balance as catastrophes ostensibly aimed at homo-sapiens. Then lo and behold rose theories from the mightiest of egotists that sang the song of revengeful religion headed by an un-relenting being that punished the sinners but ignored the others. Straightaway the rules of inequality was propagated and spread like wild fire to create the" haves and havenots" . It then became a mathematical fact that the massive became the haves and the lighter ones the "havenots". We haven't lost that loving feeling it has been only sublimated towards the "haves" . Then the tables were turned by the" havenots" on the "haves". . Then they lured the " haves" through experiments of illusion called deceit to force the " haves" to part with what they loved. It was like magic when it succeeded beyond imagination. So it was called science or the laws of deceit.
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    May 16 2013: Let's consider Science as observation.

    Hence: It is naive (no offence to anyone) to expect from something which is variable (science) -> something which is absolute. Science can't guide you to the truth since there is always room for improvement to the method you use to observe.
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    May 16 2013: Well, I all I can say after learning about the "TinkerBell Effect" , Quantum physics and Quantum mechanics, a lot of answers or perceived facts depend on the observer, or from the perception of the person, although maths can come pretty close at times or work out, I think some realitys or proofs are best determined individuality.. or is it that we and everything is connected? Today I choose to believe I am an individual... so an individual choice. We think :D
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    May 16 2013: Science is but another explanation of the universe and, at that level, fiercely competing with religions. Interestingly when we learn to write stories we learn one basic principle: any story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. The problem we are writing the story of the universe from within. Science came up with the "big bang" theory and many religions with some creation story. Religions are somewhat more romantic and closer to the people. Unfortunately many scientists want to "elevate" science to the status of a religion. As much as I admire people like Richard Dawkins I think this approach is wrong. Science is not a tool to find the truth but to give a "logical" explanation of observable natural phenomena. Truth is a moral term. Truth is in the eyes of the beholder.
  • May 15 2013: Great reasoning ." This is one experiential paradox because reality is clearly relative."
    Relative to what is the key. Human understanding or actual cause and effect of the event?. Unless Humans understand that cause and effect cycle at that INSTANT of occurrence all comparisons are DELAYED by the cognition process and MUST seem relative. One instant after the evnt it becomes the past and so relative. Hence we are compelled to compare with axiomatic state of the event which then would be simultaneous and REAL
    "In fact the more precise it gets the more it runs the risk of failing to be a true description of reality. I think that is true for any axiomatic system of study including mathematics." The flaw in our human understanding iis the inability to detect the event cycle or the Guna or PHO state cycles. That is why we have the QUANTUM in physics which hides that instant and leads to uncertainty in detection. may I request you to visit my website where forty years of my research on Sankhya as the acme of unification is detailed in complete detail maths and all.
    The reality is absolutely real for that is the event we experience without ant doubt. But the caveat is that the instant of action of event is 10^-51 seconds of a cycle and we see or detect ONLY a sequence in which 10^16 events or merged or concatenated or simultaneously averaged. Sankhya is 33000 years old and it has its own internal proofs so we can depend on it.
    • May 15 2013: Very interesting! Does sankhya 's axioms leads to so far discovered constants through experiments result in physics & cosmology like planks ,Catalan and also values of proton ,electron,neutron etc precisely without experiment ? Is there a set limits in both observable(detectable) & hidden spectrum eternally which can be prove in laboratory with consistency & accuracy? Truth as "space is empty" in science while 10^-51 precise number from Sankhya suggest different .Isn't it? Can we capture truth as everything in constant movement at micro level ?
      • May 16 2013: Good analysis Nilesh. As you know axioms cannot be disproved (yet) and hence has no human masters. We must bow down to it as it is the foundation of facts in reality. It is always true so it is eternal. Truth is how manifestation occurs and facts are the unchanging foundation that displays manifest phenomena as a kaleidoscope of changing states on an unchanging foundation.A hologram in fact. Lab experiments are a real case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. To know that experiments are correct we need a tool that measures uncertainty --STATISTICS. So how can experiments find the hidden spectrum of activity because it occurs simultaneously and merges behind the first detectable event. In fact statistics is the tool that says how many things cant be found. But man read it another way --that it doe not exist. Facts become fiction if it is not consistent. But in the real world of perpetual harmonic oscillatory states only the resonant states will be consistently detected and the inharmonious states will disappear thus introducing the so called principle of uncertainty.Planck indeed discovered the hidden spectrum but as one cannot count merged simultaneous interactions he called it the quantum , a pig in a poke identification. But that quantum contains 7E+50 interactions /sec occurring WITHIN one cycle. So the quantum hides the darkest matter literally and suspicious scientists have created a way to probe that huge number through conjectures called string, entanglement, ghosts, tunneling and other such theories. There is no need to capture truth. Axiomatic derivations lay it out on the table as precise numbers. How is the Universe doing the same thing so accurately minute after minute, year after year and so on. Its a permanent law an axioms are the only eternal parameters in man's knowledge. So we must succumb to axioms and accept positively space is SOMETHING.
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    May 14 2013: Actually I was thinking :
    What is truth?
    Because if "truth" is a "belief which is true", then is science just our best way of confirming whether that belief is true?
    (Ignoring the "problem of induction" we talked about!)
    How are "facts" and "truths" different?
    Because this quote comes to mind : "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."
    • May 14 2013: Reality as we experience is a factual process and non one can disagree logically and so becomes an axiomatic fact. The dichotomy in human minds is the unawareness that the necessity to apply absolute objectivity as the basic criteria to label something as fact or otherwise. Facts are real or what happens in nature in a given situation is true. Sorting out facts through human intellectual discrimination alone is fraught with danger for the psychological background will colour such decisions. Hence any analysis carried out objectively real facts of nature etc demands that the human experience be discounted totally .Physics substitutes mathematics but without an axiomatic source the logical flow had to be supported by so called constants --a totally human creation devoid of all logic. Source the same process on axioms and it becomes unalterable, in fact it leads to predestination and predictability. The moon's position in calculated Rigvedic times
      still holds true for we do find the moon is in that location. Thisis a fact calculated by axiomatic derivations then and even now. A simple fact will show the error. Let one person clap ten times in one second. All will agree that only ten claps were made in that second. Now we hide a 1000 persons and ask them all to clap exactly together or simultaneously ten times in second , every one willonly hear ten claps in that second but LOUDER. Simultaneous events hides facts. Therefore objectivity is required to understand that the louder ten claps had a different source. Dark matter is Physics is a malady born of simultaneous phenomena!!
    • W T

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      May 14 2013: Truth: The leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.
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        May 27 2013: I would disagree (depending on what you are saying).
        Are you arguing truth (when you experience it) causes stress, or are you arguing that the journey towards finding out the truth causes stress?
  • May 14 2013: The process of manifestation is a strait and narrow path. It can follow only one rule because dynamism is generated from within itself and can be eternal only if its not dissipated. This process of dynamism is a perpetual harmonic oscillatory state that is self conservative and there for all phenomena to is driven and sustained by the same dynamic source. Mathematically only a holographic process can sustain such a mode od manifestation eternally. It is also a process that is self similar and scale invariant so much so that if one identifies only a section it will contain the hologram of the whole. In other words every point in space is an exact presentation of the whole universal process except for time which thinks is a constant. No entity in the Universe be it a galaxy or a genetic ensemble has any freedom to behave as it wants for only the same single dynamic process motivates all. This point is proved mathematically to 10E+50 interactive counts per cycle and which is derived so accurately through axiomatic logic. see and when you understand it you will indeed purse your lips in wonder and surprise for then you will realise that your whole life is predestined and the only way is to accept and enjoy every second of it.
  • May 14 2013: Truths and facts are based / confirmed on incontrovertible and unequivocal proof which is of necessity a derivation through axioms or axiomatic logic with numerical solutions. Pedagogic or verbal statements cannot be considered a proof to establish facts in the real world as words and its structure are open to interpretation with reference to context. But numerical values derived by axiomatic logic is precise and cannot be disproved. As a case to point 1+1 =2 which cannot be disproved as there can be no misinterpretation of the numerical values. Then all values of 2^n where n is a logical choice of a sequence in real activity must also be correct but the the values between 2^n and 2^n-1 will have to be proved by another sequence based on 2 to be correct. Since science is not based on numerical axioms it prove its own derivations but must find verification through external confirmation like experiments, which again must be made acceptable by coincidence through statistical methods. But there a holistic Vedic theory called Sankhya meaning the axiomatic logic of counting , where all values ae derived from the number 2 through axiomatic logic based on self similarity and scale in-variance. All its derivations are self proving and it derives the fundamental dynamic state needed to keep the Universe eternally active through an axiomatic algorithm that provides precise numerical formulation. All stable particulate states are derived precisely that match those in Physics. See
    to understand how.
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    May 12 2013: Sorry Pabitra, I couldn't help reading your comment (to Keith Wessman) where you cited "Silliness is around because people are silly".
    I found I had two problems with this statement, one is that it was a tautology. (E.G "Goodness is around because people are good".)
    My second problem, was I felt if you looked up something called the "Fundamental attribution error" it could give you a different perspective, and was wondering you thought "silliness" and "intelligence" were at all correlated. Or whether you thought non-silly people could do "silly things".
    P.S : Sorry to get a bit off-topic! :D
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      May 13 2013: Bernard, that was nothing that I think. That statement is what Keith seems to propose! What I am looking for here is why so many people think science has got it all wrong when it comes to some profound discoveries. I am also looking for why some people think science is so infallible that its almost like a divine oracle. And I am looking for the reasons of such thinking with a hunch that popular understanding is very different from the real ways how science works.
      Non-scientists seem to be either more sure about scientific findings than scientists themselves or simply deny what science reveals. I think society will benefit if we take a more rational stand about science.
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        May 14 2013: Because some people hold beliefs, which would create too much "dissonance" to admit their wrong.
        For instance if I had always believed that the moon was made out of cheese, and then somebody told me I was being "silly". Would I trust them? Or my intuition, which had served me well in the past?
        "We have not evolved to understand Quantum physics" - Lawrence Krauss.
        Then there are the people who think the scientific method can (or at least attempt) every single question, and that philosophy will be in decline. Like how Sam Harris believes that the sceinfitiific method can now even answer questions of "morality".
        Whether it can : I don't know. :)
        Or there may just be the simple explanation :
        People don't understand what "science" is. :P
        Hoped this helped!
  • Keith W

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    May 12 2013: Of course the universe, the planet, and every organism is governed by some mathematically predictable and/or observable laws. In order for anything to be measured by science your experiement must be able to either verify or falsify your hypothesis. Its absolutely absurd to even suggest there are no determined truths in science. However you must remember that science is not a dogma so its conclusions are always kept in the position of being falsifiable. Scientific language evolved around this principle. In science you have degrees of "certainty" and not absolute "certainty."
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      May 12 2013: Will you clarify a bit?
      I understand that science has degrees of 'certainty', which means some of its ideas are more certain than some other ideas. I also understand that it does not therefore hold anything as absolutely certain.
      Now what is this 'determined truth'? Determined as true? Why does science need to keep it open for falsification then? Or if it so does, why can one not logically say, it is not determined at all?
      Since you avoided the term 'proof', I did too.
      • May 12 2013: you agree that water is made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen right? Much is determined with a degree of certainty which would be insane to contradict. We know the earths revolves around the sun but we still call it Heliocentric Theory. Science uses theories opposed to facts for reasons to both avoid dogma and to remain open to the possibility that more can be revealed. When a hypothesis reaches the status of scientific theory it means that the hypothesis has been verified to such an extent that it is highly unlikely it will ever be determined otherwise. Still its kept open, not because some new insight will disprove the evidence which support the theory, but that new information may alter the conclusions which where made when only x amount of data was available and y- data wasnt get discovered. Make sense?
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          May 12 2013: I agree that the most ubiquitous substance on earth AKA water is two parts of a given isotope of hydrogen and one part oxygen. There are other kinds of waters too. Science explains the preponderance of the first kind of water compared to the other kinds. That's great. What is the proof here? I mean did science predict the gravimetric ratio of two known elements combining to form an unknown compound to be confirmed later through empirical observation and proved beyond any scope for falsification?
          Do you mean to say availability of new data can alter/modify a 'proven' fact in Science? What kind of a proof is that?
      • May 12 2013: No your ignoring what i said. Theories and fact are differant things. We can play semantics all day but you cant distort the argument to win it. First study what a scientific theory is because im only suggesting Theories can be modified not the empirical evidence on which the theory is built upon
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          May 12 2013: I think I have a fair enough idea about what is a theory and how science works. I contend as led by Peter Glieck and for arguments sake, science does not prove anything with absolute certainty. What is your counter argument?
      • May 12 2013: I already have said that science remains falsifiable therefore i guess its not absolute certainty but it is a degree of certainty significant enough that it would be foolish to contradict. for example heliocentric theory, wouldnt you agree contradicting its claims would be silly?
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          May 12 2013: Problem is Keith, there are enough 'foolish' people on both sides of the line. For example some think that General Relativity is redundant, Special Relativity is good enough. Some think Biological Evolution is wrong as far as coming up of new species is concerned. Some claim that Gravity, Gravitational lensing, Speed of light in vacuum are wrong. Why do you think there is so much, uhm, silleness around?
      • May 12 2013: Because people are silly, and science is done by people. It goes back to why scientific theories remain falsifiable.. because science knows of the necessity of malleability and must account for errors in both experiment and interpretation.
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          May 12 2013: Silliness is around because people are silly. This seems to be a trivial observation. But thanks anyway.
    • May 12 2013: It is an absolute certainty that airplanes will fly if all the considerations are met and as long as the parameters don't change, they will always fly, that is a certainty.
  • May 10 2013: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

    ― Adam Savage

    The attitude that Adam Savage concisely expresses is available to all of us at any time, regarding any issue.
    It is a choice.

    Regardless of how thoroughly and reliably a "fact" is scientifically confirmed, any person can choose to reject it. People do this commonly. IMO, the important question is how to deal with the consequent controversy and develop public policy, in the context of democracy.

    The current approach to the Global Climate Change (GCC) controversy is to assemble a panel of scientists and take a vote. Personally, I consider this method extremely unreliable, regardless of the outcome of the vote.

    One step toward managing controversy would be a commonly accepted measure of information quality. For example, the letter which you cite above provides the classifications "proven, evolving and borderline science". That might be a good start, but it will not be sufficient to persuade members of the public who have serious doubts about the claims of scientists.

    For those of you who have a hard time understanding why much of the public has doubts about science, you might consider that scientists still cannot reliably predict the weather just 24 hours in advance. Cosmologists were claiming that they "knew" what happened in the first microseconds after the big bang, but their equations did not provide a hint about dark matter and dark energy. Also, the Uncertainty Principle is easily misunderstood.

    "Does science prove anything?" Yes, but some scientific conclusions are much more reliable than others.
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      May 11 2013: Thanks Barry. Your explanation goes a long way to address the core dilemma of my question. And Asimov's relativity of wrong is something wonderful.
      My question has as much a 'why' as a 'how' mixed in it. The kind of literature by Asimov as you cite should find it's way into school curricula and you guess where? Right in literature.
      It's a value question and our educators seem to divide science so sharply from arts and literature that such misconceptions breed easily. I always think when schools introduce science to kids, there should be whole subjects like philosophy of science to ready minds to deal with it correctly.
  • Jun 9 2013: Sprituality , Dharma and Science are three different aspects of the same thing. Spirituality deals with invisible and abstract aspect of the thing. Science deals with the visible and concrete aspect of the thing. Science is the manifestation of Spirituality through the actions of Dharma.

    It is the policy of the nature that the earth should rotate on its axis and also revolve around the sun. This aspect can be called as spirituality. The actual rotation and revolution of the earth can be called as the Dharma. The matter with which earth and sun both are made up of is the science.
  • Jun 8 2013: Revelation is a reality. We can never see Allah, or God as you call Him, through our two eyes. We cannot see angels of Allah as well. We have not seen Heaven and Hell. But we can see and read the Divine book of Allah revealed to our Prophet Muhammad. His friends at the time have seen the Prophet receiving the revelation but without seeing the Angel Jibrael bringing the message from Allah. If we may see Allah and all the above through our eyes, then the trial is over for us as Humans in this world. We are required to know our Creator, Sustainer and Master through Prophet, of self and the rest of Nature. Deep study of any thing will take you to Allah the Creator and the biggest Designer.The Divine Book Al-Quran, as revealed to the last Prophet for the entire mankind, carries the factual data about Allah and every thing else. Just go through it and try your best to prove the data wrong. Just prove one of its many claims or facts wrong, I would go along with you. It is full of facts, facts and nothing but facts. Isn't a blessing? Can we claim the same about any other book revealed or written by us? Al-Quran carries message for you and every human being and the Jinn. Study it with open mind with the sole intention of knowing the Reality. It has not changed in the last 1433 years. Allah has taken upon Himself to preserve it word for word, dot for dot and sentence for sentence. No one can dare change anything in it or insert in it or remove any thing from it. People have tried but miserably failed. It is a challenge. You may try it as well. It exists in original form even today. What if it is true, then the non-believers are doomed. What if it is wrong, then the believers are doomed. The life in Hereafter is for ever. We all die and never come back, life in Hereafter is permanent: never ending whether in Heaven or Hell Fire. Why take such a big risk? Let us try studying it at least once. I am certain you will feel the difference. Believe me it is the greatest blessing.
  • Jun 7 2013: Science is a continuous study of Nature. It is always on the move because we can never reach the ultimate boundary of discoveries and knowledge. Hence, scientific proofs are time bound, one accepted fact may be acceptable today, but modified or even rejected after some new discoveries are made tomorrow. There is, however, one thing that proves right every thing beyond any doubt. That is Al-Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (saww). You may believe in these or not, these two Divine sources of knowledge give us 100 % proven facts and relieve us of many burdens of un-necessary research efforts. Just try reading these sources of factual knowledge in all sectors of life. You will be amazed to find out yourself.
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      Jun 7 2013: And I thought Islam was a continuous study of Allah, always on the move because we can never reach the ultimate boundary of Allah. Scripture interpretations are time bound, constantly modified or even rejected.
      • Jun 8 2013: Islam is continuous obedience of Allah. Whatever is required to be known about Allah, it is clearly mentioned in Al-Quran and further explained by the Prophet Muhammad in his sayings. These are all authentically recorded. There is no need of continuously studying Allah, however Allah does ask us to ponder and reflect on His signs spread all over the universe. Here, of course, a continuous study is required, the discoveries recorded and passed on to coming generations, who can improve upon these further. I agree to some extent that earlier scriptures were meant for those periods only and for particular nations only, but Al-Quran is applicable until Doomsday. It is meant for entire humanity. It has been interpreted for us by our Prophet Muhammad through his sayings and demonstrated actions which are authentically recorded as well. Besides, the authentic scholars of Islam may also give their opinion on new issues, in the light of their Islamic understanding, which are not explicitly covered either in Al-Quran or Sunnah of Prophet. It thus remains dynamic and remains valid for all times to come. Belief, and firm belief, in Allah Almighty is the top most priority. Seeking Allah's pleasure is the aim of our life here. That makes lot of difference in our life style. We become accountable to Allah in all respect and, therefore, always try to do things in conformity of Allah's directions. Life of Muhammad(saww) is the best example for all of us to follow. Only there lies the salvation in both the worlds. Let us think about it. It is the most important thing in life if one comes to think of it. Allah may bless us all, Ameen!
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    Jun 6 2013: We all seem to yearn for absolutes. We are uncomfortable with variability, randomness and apparent disorder. Things like 2 + 2 = 4 and our dog's loyalty fill us with a sense of balance and rightness in the world. And yet, what if science is correct in asserting that scientific knowledge is provisional? If science "proves anything" it is that absolutist thinking and pat answers simply won't do, as our constantly evolving understanding of the universe attests. Once we accept the transitory nature of all knowledge, we are free to open our minds to wider possibilities. That said, we can and should accept as fact all scientific laws, principles and theories that have been repeatedly demonstrated, or proven. It should not be seen as inconsistent to rely upon scientific facts, without which we would be incapable of delivering electricity or launching rockets, while at the same time reserving judgement for broader understanding and new facts.
  • Jun 5 2013: No, we cannot even be sure that what we call reality is really that, I mean real in the sense of solidity and independence of the beholder because the tools for testing are part of what you want to test and is proven that the observer changes the result of the observable. We are readers of infinity, we have only a segment of an infinite rope and every time this segment is moved, we changed our minds.

    There is no explanation that can be tested because there is no beginning, the reality is only a presence without cause sustained by us and continually reinforced, trying to prove something is not part of this presence, it's just an idea us to believe that's the only true way, but it is not possible to study the infinite and try to explain it. The only thing you can try is to be and for that there is no device, law, treaty, speech, theorem, algorithm, equation or collider that is useful. Paradoxically, to answer the question latent in our minds is to forget what we have learned because we think that we know much facts about everything that is outside of us and, and we believe that whit this facts we will know who it is this that we call “I”.
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    Jun 4 2013: Scientific facts or discoveries prove that something works someway. You find absolute scientific fact in the laws of physics, science uses models and principles that have proven to work in order to predict and understand the way the world works (and use it to design aircraft, spacecraft, computers et. al.) . Often these models are refined over time through new understanding and discoveries, but they never stop proving how the world works. So if you want to impose it as a philisophic question, I would answer: we have scientific fact, but in some cases we complement them with new understanding and discoveries over time.

    To mess that up: that complementation could (theoretically) also include that we live in a simulation, however that doesn't change how the laws of phyics describe our then simulated world.

    You should have given your definition of scientific fact in order to properly support this discussion.

    Furthermore, assuming you were aware of the laws of physics and given the question you end with. The laws of physics and models are no mathematical proofs, they are empirical (experimentally found), which can effectively be described and used by mathematics.
    • Jun 4 2013: I think he gave some definition of what he means with a scientifically proven fact. But of course it could have been made more precise.
      You wrote: "You find absolute scientific fact in the laws of physics, science uses models and principles that have proven to work in order to predict and understand the way the world works".
      I think this statement is only partly correct.
      Yes, the laws of physics do allow us to explain our observations and to make useful predictions.
      But we don't know much about their limitations. Dark matter and dark energy are just fancy words to state that the laws of physics are not valid throughout the universe as we would like them to be. And no physicsist can ever prove that any of the laws of physics will be valid tomorrow morning. Of course you will likely believe they will. But you cannot even prove that they had been valid always nor everywhere. It is just a useful assumption.
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      Jun 5 2013: @ Vincent B: I think I need to talk about my background and work a bit.
      I am a professional Civil Engineer who specialized in river hydraulics. As part of work I head a small but extremely talented group of individuals, half of them are engineers and half are scientists. If you are aware about river hydraulics and particularly in a huge alluvial estuarine delta, you will appreciate studying it is almost like studying a living human being. Such study involves multiple disciplines, covering huge number of aspects of flow dynamics, material science and in the end such study is expected to come out with predictions how a river will behave in future.
      It is my experience that to have any reasonable success in this profession, the engineers and scientists must grow out of the belief that established scientific principles are sacrosanct. I think a properly trained scientists is humble to admit that science, albeit one of the best possible ways of inquiry, is founded on the demand of falsifiability - it certainly helps to think out of the box.
      Gloating over success of science is historian's job, not scientists'.
      I hope you will agree that precision is a vexed word, even for a definition of scientifically proven fact. So one practical way is to make a compromise in the meaning and examine all versions of it.
  • Jun 4 2013: I do not think science can prove everything in this world. Now it seems like science can prove everything. But I believe science will reach it's limit sometime soon.

    Consider this question. "Why does humans exist in this universe?"
    Can science give us an answer to that question?
    If that was possible, the answer was probably given wrong time ago. Why? because that might be the most fundamental question that a human being can ask.
    Don't you want to know what is the purpose of life? Why we were created? Well, I would like to know that very well.

    Thus, I dont think science can necessarily prove everything. However, it can prove some fundamental laws in nature.
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      Jun 2 2013: The statistical probability of the laws (scientific, as you say) of nature existing only to be discovered by humans with a history of 50,000 years in an approximately 14 billion year old (a scientific estimate) universe seems so low that by the very principle of science it appears a hazy guesswork. It stands only on the premise that no other human faculty gave any alternative study - or if did, that study is lost and not available anymore.
      It like understanding and appreciating Beethoven's 5th symphony by listening to a single note.
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          Jun 2 2013: The evidence, in the most fundamental level, is dependent on the view. You insist that the laws existed before man existed so let us take the two crowning theories of science that determine the evidences. The General Relativity gives the evidences of interactions between gravitating bodies and Quantum Mechanics gives evidences of other three fundamental interactions between bodies. These two theories are fundamentally incompatible.
          I don't have to break any law but just have to wait till science finds a theory more fundamental than the two I mentioned. Till such time - it appears that the laws of nature, which you insist as existing prior to mankind were mutually contradictory.
          Furthermore one set of theories prove one set of facts and other set of theories prove another set of facts and none proves all set of facts. So how come you are so sure that science proves facts at all?
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          Jun 3 2013: May be scientific laws and theories are not as different as you are saying.

          For the purpose of this debate, this difference is a moot point.

          What you are claiming as scientific laws are reasoned common knowledge. They are repeatable and consistent only within a given set of physical conditions.

          someone can form a law like this:
          Unless otherwise intervened, human beings on earth will always die after a finite time interval from birth.
          Of the two objects having same utility, configuration and appearance, the cheaper will sell more.

          Are these scientific laws?
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          Jun 3 2013: Are you not being rhetorical yourself? You are supposed to judge the question, not me. Please give me a scientific law to show that there is no room for wiggling.
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          Jun 3 2013: No, I don't think I have taken a position. You have no evidence to say that so you are simply being presumptuous. Moreover, your presumption is not adding anything valuable in this debate, IMO. You simply do not know what I believe and the burden of proof etc. is just like school room debate.
          The fact is that the scientific laws exist in human mind and even then there is neither any law or theory that stand in isolation - they are reasoned attempts to describe natural events seen as constant conjunction.
          You have to be really ignorant of science to say Newton's third law is an absolutely proven fact. It does not hold good for E&M interactions and I think that is high school knowledge. It is at best an approximate description of natural interactions.
          Not every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
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          Jun 3 2013: Newton's third law derives from the conservation laws with the assumption that forces act in pairs, act instantaneously, and act along the line connecting particle pairs. Drop those assumptions and you have to drop Newton's third law. You do not have to drop the conservation laws, however. In even higher level physics, the conservation laws themselves can be derived from the very nature of space and time.
          If you want to believe an approximation as absolute, it is your choice.
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          Jun 3 2013: :) Cool.
        • Jun 4 2013: The fact that a "law of physics" has not been proven wrong does not mean it is the truth.
          Newton did just explain his observations with a very nice model that worked fine for more than 100 years for everyone. It actually makes no sense to isolate one of his laws: only the combinations of his laws allowed him to make precise predictions of the movements of objects. Therefore it was an extremely useful theory and it still is.

          Although we know now that it is wrong. Newtons mechanics do not hold if it comes to large velocities, close to the speed of light or to large masses. In those cases it must be replaced with the theory of relativity from Mr. Einstein. For other circumstances both theories do actually make the same predictions.
          And if people would have said: "no, we want to keep Newtons theories, what had been true for 200 years cannot be wrong now" , then the GPS system would not work today. Because the atomic clocks that are orbiting earth for this system do not count the same time as they would on earth, and the GPS location prediction would be simply wrong without the proper correction from the theory of relativity.
          The main point is that we will never know the limits of our theories. Only after we found the limit, then we know that we had been wrong all along. This actually does not matter to science: the theory has been useful, because it allowed us to make useful predictions. If a "law of physics" has been used for one hundred years, then it was an excellent theory. Even if it has been proven wrong eventually.
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    Jun 1 2013: To understand science is necessary to understand conscience and how the models are created in consciousness. All that we call reality is just models representing reality, we have accesses just to the "objects" flowing in the mirror of conscience in the present moment, it is all. Science is doing a good job creating better models that make our lives more comfortable. If we confuse the models with reality we are slaves but if we use than understand that they are just models we are completely free.
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      Jun 2 2013: We don't understand consciousness at all but do have an understanding of what science is.... what if your viewing these models with a model?, Im not sure any of that makes any sense.
  • May 29 2013: The Truth i seek is not of mine but of the Father our GOD. there is no TRUTH accept the Father. for what Truth i seek from the Father i share.
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    May 29 2013: My dear ai,
    If you read the 2010 letter to The Voice of SCIENCE magazine, they give 9 examples. These are facts, each proven by over 100 years of ongoing scientific investigation. Of these, only #5 is immediately obvious to everyone. Only number 6 has been proven repeatedly by anyone with a cooking thermometer. The rest are still open for public speculation. No, neither science, nor scientists, nor the educated public engage in this kind of speculation, even in private. But in some places (like in my home country) -- primitive and uneducated people have their own ideas about these things. And the ideas offered by science are not viewed as authoritative.

    People tend to believe what they are taught by those who are in authority. Given that, we may have an uphill climb in preserving our civilization until the end of the 21st century.
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    May 29 2013: I'm sure it has the potential to prove "how," but what humans always seem to want to know is "why?"
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    May 29 2013: I think science proves a lot. The scientific facts can be challenged and tested to see of they work or not. So yes, it does. But is it the answer to everything -no!
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    May 27 2013: There is no absolutely proven scientific fact and there is no perfect art.
    That is why it is fun to be an artist or a scientist. Every new morning there are new things to discover and create.
    Basic education everywhere need to include basic philosophy, physics and math - as well as physical training, music and arts, so that everyone is given the basic tools to understand science and art. That would probably enhance the global scientific community.
    It's good that this kind of discussion takes place so that many can think about this subject and try to verbalise their own view.
    • May 27 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
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      May 28 2013: Fine Art and Theoretical Science (math and physics) have (creativity) much in common. Both tend to rely completely on imagination, curiosity, and unknowns for creativity. Fine Art must be expressed in a medium of canvas, stone, paper, pixels .... Theoretical Science must be expressed by mathematical proofs and models, which can be expressed with digital Fine Art. Some may say that Fine Art is an expression of theoretical actuality. Hence, “Reality ain’t actuality” always seeks reliable answers.

      Writings by gods and people are more of an institutional or delusionist applied art for crafting whimsical revisionist-reality (Examples (IMO): governments, religions, WallStreet, Microsoft, Hollywood …). Writers use explicit knowledge blended with some primitive and fanciful curiosity for producing entertainment with defective and definitive implicit purposes. Hence, “Reality is self-induced hallucination” always begs every question.

      Summary: Imagination should be considered an antonym to faith. Both have value, but are never interchangeable in intelligent or social conversation.
  • May 25 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
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    May 25 2013: The question: Is there an absolutely proven scientific fact exposes the truth already. Unless an answer is present, no question can arise in the first place. If you do not know - how can you ask? No 2year old will ask anything about 'The Big Bang' because it doesn't know about it - yet. WIth this in mind, all scientific facts are absolute for the simple reason that no other option is available at that moment. An absolute fact does not mean that it is timeless - it means it is absolute in the moment of its discovery. If it were not absolute it couldn't be discovered because it wouldn't exist. What I mean by that is: The child looks at a flower. In that moment the flower is absolute as is the child. The child may not know the name and the processes required to bring the flower to its sight, nevertheless it is there and, by being there it is absolute. How can it be relative? and what is it relative to? The key of the Absolute and the Relative is a perception of time. Uncertainty can only have importance in science because Science does not know its own origin - it only knows the processes - but it does not know itself - Uncertainty is therefore the only certainty in Science :)>
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    May 24 2013: "I think science has revealed uncertainty at a more fundamental level - where things are uncertain even if there is infinite precision of observation"

    On what scale? ours? If science can reveal something that profound then surely its not so limited after all...

    "I mean it can be pretty useful to believe that there is a supernatural God who is looking after our actions - useful because that can help to maintain a moral order"

    I totally agree, in essence this is very similar to my previous statement... 'In my opinion the only big limit of the scientific process is that it cant tell you what questions you should be asking in the first place' is a process of finding the answer to a question, it doesnt presume to say you should do this or that with it or ask this question.
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    May 22 2013: Does Science prove anything? Yes, science proves by rigid methodology and reproducible results that there is not at present a better answer to the posed question.

    Science is interpretation of events, results, history ..., not a mythological faith-based, eternal, quaint answer from gods.
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        May 28 2013: Yes, there is slight difference between dogma and hubris or mythology and fanaticism or faithfully knowing ....
  • May 22 2013: There are no proven facts...
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    May 21 2013: G. Srinivasan said >> "...Exactly what I feared, Faith and belief creeping in, surely throws out absolute objectivity with all its derivatives or tools ..."

    :) I'm not sure where you got that idea, but if it helps you deflect the comment.... good for you.
  • May 20 2013: Nilesh, this is the reply to your comment. You are analysis raises a cardinal point that defines facts in reality unambiguously through Sankhyan logic. Only cyclic changes can be detected. The instant at which it is detectable is the point at which a changing parameter is STOPPED as when two particles collide at a POINT in space and then reverse. The detection of the next stationery point after completion of the following cycle of interaction. This interval between the two events has a bearing in Physics. Since there is movement during the interval between two collisions it cannot be measured or detected and gave rise to the principle of uncertainty. Further since detection was only at the colliding points, that time intrval created the concept of the quanta. That interval between counts gave the concept of a wavelength (displacement ) and became the frequency in a larger time interval or cycle. In Sankhya space is a continuum as a sea of elemental components but its detect ability was PERIODIC as explained above. Lacking a an axiomatic theory, the experimental discoveries were literally converted into a process of discontinuities. It is like inferring that air is qaantised medium because we can only hear discrete claps. . The so called quanta or Planck's constant contains in fact 9E16 interactive counts merged into a that cycle but Sankhyan axiomatic derivation quantifies the REAL individual interaction in space as having an inertial delay or mass as 1.3 E minus 51 kgs of mass. This large hidden interactive state contributes to explaining the anomalous dark matter/ energy findings. More important there is no need for dimensionality as the process counting interactions is ONLY a relative or RATIO of comparison for the fundamental components in space do never change or disappear.Hence the most elegant concept of conservation is derived by equating ONLY INTERACTIVE COUNTS DIRECTLY and not through a process of dimensional conversion.
    • May 24 2013: Mr. Srinivasan,

      Thank you for further contribution to fundamentals as it pointing towards eternal dynamism and dimensionless ratios in reality. Numbers doesn't exist in reality but help you comprehend total process comprise of three part of cyclic time as compression ,resonance & expansion as fundamental logic. Need to explore further with fresh mind as previous knowledge more often becomes screen or resistance to see objectively. Thanks again.
  • May 20 2013: Truths are alway the truths,so are the facts:).It doesn't matter prove or not:)
    • May 20 2013: Absolutely correct. Reality, the universe we live in, continues to churn out facts relentlessly every instant but humanity that came into existence as a by product of natures balancing process does not have the intellectual clarity to see that their illogical ruminations only lead to stress and suffering. But the positive process of recognizing natures ways will aid humanity to exist as nature intended like everything around humans do. Every independent human mind can and does go off at a tangent unless the proving process drives them back on the rails. Why? Natures process of life and living is a gift to enjoy the bounties of nature but naive humans think there is total freedom to do so. Unfortunately there is only one law, rule, mode of action, governed by axioms , that can give humans the utopia they deserve as nature intended and unless that single law is understood, proved and followed there is no escape from the dungeons of despair they have landed themselves in.
  • May 20 2013: Sure I will email you John. Can you send an email to .Late Bill Muller was a good friend after we met at Hanover Gravity energy conference in 86. Both us gave a talk (actually my son did) ) on the energy conversion processes and of the anomalies in the concept of the gravity field in Physics, specifically relativistic shortfalls in logic. My website has been linked to his website for years. Physics not being based on axioms has missed the bus on the potential domain where billions of interactions take place simultaneously or within the same cycle. Bill recognised this fact as the cause of the magnetic phenomena and used it in his device. All movement of any kind is a conversion of potential and kinetic phases to attain instant balance but even today Physicists arw ignorant that the potential is just the simultaneous activity . Cheers
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    May 20 2013: such an interesting article.
  • May 19 2013: You are one of the few that has looked at the web seriously and offered a considered comment. Your perceptive comment "resolve questions completely independent of standard science." has been done in Sankhya perfectly. I am trying really desperately to get Physicist to at least give ONE serious look putting aside there bias for anything Vedic. But I don't seem to know how to awaken their curiosity. Let me pose an extremely serious question."has any scientist or intellectual heard of a theory based on ONLY axioms". I can vouch it cannot and could not have been and so must you.. Next we all know for the past hundred years at least , the entire Physics community has been hunting for the source of the perpetual dynamic power in the Universe and they have come up with no answer. Now I have laid bare an extraordinary algorithm from Sankhya that gives the formula called the Perpetual Harmonic Oscillatory or PHO or the three Gunas in Sanskrit as the eternal motivator of ALL FORCES IN THE UNIVERSE. The proof is also open to all to see if they would that from this PHO state all the Particulate states have been derived without ANY EXTERNAL, EXPERIMENTAL or EMPIRICAL inputs . The Proton, Neutron, Electron, and Neutrino (unknown to Physics yet,) and the fundamental gravitational quantum with 10 digit numerical accuracy and matches Physics findings in all these years. What more can be laid on the table for sincere Physicists to see and take it forward. Vedas, Hindus, Orient, India , are words that the occidental world despises openly and with the money power that rules the ivory tower not a single serious paper of mine on Sankhya has seen anything but the waste paper basket. So I am compelled to point to Sankhyan excellence all the time. I have two proofs . The solar eclipse experiment that says CERN is blundering. A over unity motor I have built to prove energy concepts are in error.
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      May 20 2013: G. Srinivasan said: "...A over unity motor I have built to prove energy concepts are in error. .."

      I would be interested in hearing more about this. Email would be best.

      I'm sure you're familiar with Bill Muller's Overunity Motor-Generator?

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    May 18 2013: there is measurable phenomena that can be consistently measured by utilising the scientific process.

    it is becoming more and more evident that we live , and have always lived, in a world of opinions.

    the question of importance is not if there is a truth but what difference would it make if there were absolute truths?

    my opinion, and that's all we have, is that it doesn't matter.
  • May 18 2013: For those of you that believe in gravitational lensing, look at the following web site and see how science mocks itself.
    • May 18 2013: Space has a matter density of 3.6E-25 kgs /cub. meter. Its an axiomatic derivation. So none can reject it. iThere is an axiomatically derived mass factor in space that is 1.3E minus 51 kgs (planck's constant h / C^2 is an approximation) . Next Light does not travel in space like a plane or a car but transmigrates from node to node ( like a worm) when the perpetual harmonic oscillatory state of balance is upset. It transfers from a higher count rate (frequency) to a lower one) . Third all light as transmigration of interactive stresses as pressure from a distant stellar body MUST have a higher frequency count. Hence all light from distant sources are BLUE shifted NOT red shifted. Hence around all stellar bodies where the gravitational acceleration will be constant the oscillatory frequency of the stress wave of light will be algebraically altered by the addition and subtraction of the stress waves around the body. It will and must curve -no more a straight line of Euclidean origins..It is exactly llike air around the earth and that will happen in space too --this example is to simplify understanding. Scientists must correct aberrations created by ill formulated experiments. As a proof see the total solar eclipse experiment where a balanced wooden rod was spun 180 degrees to the opposite side by the ecliptic transition, thus confirming Maurice's experiments with pendulums. I have built a gravity converter generator that has unusual energy conservative properties that stares Physics in its face on its energy conservation laws.'. A paradigm shift in Physics is a must if mankind is to take advantage of natures positive laws. See and the eclipse experiment that says the Cern tunnel is a needless waste of people's money in trying to prove the obvious. Further as a clinching last word the so called limiting velocity of light is exceeded by the Neutrinos ALL the TIME.
      • May 18 2013: Not interrested
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        May 18 2013: I know I would prefer if you did not keep steering people to your website in so many of your posts. TED Conversations is a free site for exchange of ideas, but using the site to promote yourself or your business is a violation of the terms of use.
        • May 19 2013: I point it out every time because there is a scientific theory based on axioms that DERIVES itself ,
          which is UNHEARD of in any scientific derivation. Even though it has been on the web for 20 years the same inane bleating about the wonders of a defunct physics being pontificated by the one and all is the reason. Scientists are supposed to be intellectually flexible to see understand new findings but imentalobstinacy seems to be the rule. Why don't you delve into that website and understand the PERPETUAL HARMONIC OSCILLATORY STATE is initiator of gravitational acceleration and the so called 4 forces of the standard model belongs to fairy tales
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        May 19 2013: G. Srinivasan,
        You claim that physics is defunct. If you believe that way, why do you use the concept of harmonics at all? Is it not that harmonics is a concept developed in classical mechanics?
        I have checked your website. It is too detailed to have a considered opinion on it, but if it so to propound something fundamentally different from how science works, it should develop, expound and resolve questions completely independent of standard science.
  • May 18 2013: If Scientific derivations are to be acceptable without raising questions of a fundamental nature, it must be based on a systematic process to make it unimpeachable.
    The paradigm shift Physics needs.

    1. An axiom based algorithm that forms the foundation for all dynamic states in the Universe, which as a consequence eliminates dependence on experimental inputs to support theoretical derivations..

    2. A dynamic cycle of interaction derived from axioms, as the standard time interval so that it eliminates dependence on empirical and experimental time standards.

    3. A theoretical derivation of the qualities of space that will support the dynamic state algorithm based on the axiomatic interactive cycle.

    4. The elimination of dimensional parameters in theoretical derivations by deriving the principle of self similarity and scale in-variance.

    5. The identification, recognition and reformulation of "simultaneity of interactive events" that lead to the discrimination of the time interval, leading to the evaluation of mass. The mathematical dependence on calculus leads to the hierarchy disease that further drags it into the renormalisation mess.

    6. Strict application of logical and mathematical rigor to solve and remove anomalies at its source.

    7. Establish experimental verification only as a confirmatory process of mathematically proven theoretical derivations so that it eliminates dependence on experimentation as a proving tool through statistics.

    Understanding Universal phenomena, as a process of manifestation, requires absolute objectivity. At its best level the human researcher must be capable of putting aside ruthlessly his learnt inhibitions through education. There is a vital need to understand that pedagogical explanations/ hypothesis without math support, must be examined with inexorable thoroughness, to make it precise. The theory fulfilling these criteria and more has been available for over 20 years on
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    May 17 2013: First of all if the whole question is based on the 'ultimate' truth and facts...then we are perhaps trying to solve something....trying to answer some questions.
    Secondly, 'truth' may appear as an 'answer' but it isn' is very close to what one can understand as 'experience'.
    However, our society and civilization has reached this stage where i am trying to explain this very 'truth' on a computer through internet...which clearly is a gift of science.
    So one should not forget or neglect the abilities of science, even if it is about the 'truth' and that is a 'fact'.
    Now, going back to the original question...'proving' here can be viewed as mere influencing people. Majority of the world today, be it a student, working, married, children, old age personalities etc would rather listen to a scientist with 'facts' than an ordinary human who claims to know the truth.
    So, one may ask where does the problem lies?
    In collecting the very 'facts', as there is going to be a war between objectivity and subjectivity.
    What really happens when a scientist starts the work towards knowing the truth and say finds the truth?
    If one(scientist) has found the truth then the very basis was not objective was indeed subjective. Now the observations and the so called facts are not even 'real' anymore in the eyes of the very 'science' out in the world. 'Truth' is more like a headache which the scientists gets which no other scientists have experienced before. Its tremendously difficult to explain in terms of science then, simply because the science(other scientists, institutions, organisations etc) haven't got this very headache. If science can prove the headache to another who has never experienced this so called 'headache', then that is what we are looking for in this entire debate.

    So, Yes, science can indeed prove or rather 'tell' the truth, which is at the moment confined to only 'experience'.
    • May 26 2013: Science is "organized knowledge" who's knowledge? GODS knowledge, we have the power over it by understanding it. without the "understanding" we would not have power over it. GOD gave us the understanding in birth for a reason. so we may be at play. think of the universe full of LEGO"S that are smaller than one another and bigger For GOD has gave his children the understanding of them to be at play so his children may put these LEGO"S together to discover and claim. For mankind does not create only discover and claim, "But i speak Thy TRUTH, unless it is written nothing can be created, so be it thy discovery who may claim" Amen
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        May 29 2013: information regarding infinity is knowledge and realizing one being the center of infinity is knowing... You have the knowledge but you don't know... you don't certainly speak truth simply because you don't know the truth... if you're really passionate about seeking the truth then drop everything first and start your journey asap... one can deceive self but cannot deceive the one who knows the truth...
  • May 17 2013: One problem with scientific method can be bias. We try to remove this by letting facts prove or disprove the hypothsis but even our view point can change how one looks at the facts.

    A political example would be a liberal vs conservative point of view on the exact same facts.
  • May 17 2013: Thanks Jim . That para belongs elsewhere. Cut and paste is easy but it has its flip side!!!
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    B Ross

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    May 17 2013: Here are two scientifically proven facts. Accurate approximation and common sense are the only tools we have to solve complex problems. The purpose of taking something as fundamentally true is to eliminate steps each time a problem is addressed.
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      Gord G

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      May 17 2013: Bobby I think your last statement has intriguing implications. But I question the phrase "accurate approximation". Something can be accurate or it can be approximate, but it can't be both. It's an oxymoron.
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        B Ross

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        May 17 2013: Thanks for the reply. I respectfully disagree. In fact, the meanings of the two words are not mutually exclusive. I used the work "accurate" to modify the word "approximation". Incidentally, the idea I sought to express is likely apparent. Even if I made a poor choice in combining those two words, which I didn't, they would serve as an accurate approximation of the idea I intended to assert.
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          Gord G

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          May 18 2013: There is definitely room for interpretation regarding the combination of words. At best, language is an approximation of our thoughts. ;-)
  • May 17 2013: it proves a great many things. for example that electricity is a result of the movement of electrons, or than microwaves are absorbed by H-O bonds which is how we can use them to heat our food. also it wouldn't matter if it didn't, because science is also about disproving things.
    • May 17 2013: No reply button in you last statement to me, so I used this one and imposed your last statement here.
      "4 hours ago: and science knows well about the variations of light in space. so well actually that we can now measure a few millimeters change in star light years away, even through the shimmering of our atmosphere. that is accuracy to a billionth of a degree, and you say science is stupid?"

      Yes, science is stupid in many ways, to many times contradicting itself terribly, but ok Ben, lets go where you want first and then can we go where I want and debate gravitational lensing or more in light theory?

      Tell us Ben, are scientists seeing out to that star light or is that star light seen, because it is coming to us?

      Ted refuses me a reply button. What are you afraid of Ted? You are constantly challenging others, while your innuendo is that intelligence is important and yet, you refuse my challenges.
      • May 18 2013: jim you haven't included any examples of how science contradicts itself?

        nobody ever sees out to anything, that's not how sight works.
        • May 18 2013: Are you saying then, that starlight is coming to us and that we can't see out to the star?
    • May 17 2013: So tell me Ben, are you refusing to defend your challenge aimed at me, because you believe it will give me satisfaction, while you believe it will hurt your pride or do you believe you can issue challenges and refuse to finish what you start, because it doesn't matter?

      You can hit your own reply button and use my name, because Ted seems to be afraid of me.

      Ted refuses me a reply button. Ted is afraid of little ole me.

      Take my 3 challenges Ted! You are always challenging others.

      My challenges are light theory, gravitational lensing and gravity!!!
      • Comment deleted

        • May 17 2013: When I first posted to Ted, the --edit/delete button appeared, but after awhile, I would see the reply button on those posts and I was able to reply to my own posts. Now that several people have replied, I see. Maybe it was a glitch I experienced. Once I see how something works, when it changes, I try to move with the change. When it changed and I got no response, also what seemed no way to reply to others and more, while being heavily censored, I challenge, to find out.

          Thanks for saying what you did.
      • May 18 2013: jim exactly what is your challenge?
        • May 18 2013: Is there any scientist or even non scientist, that can defend gravitational lensing, all in light theory or gravity, as science claims, against me and he/she, can use everything on the net and any outside help.

          I claim that no one can defend against the cause and effect debate, that I can deliver. Pabitra tried and then blamed me when she could not get past her original copy and paste.

          My real challenge is aimed at the ignorant school system and how its ignorance had brought most all people to being unable to think past the copy and paste they learned.

          I challenged all in Ted and so far, none can debate.
      • May 18 2013: what do you mean by "defend gravitational lensing"? light slows down as it passes though a gravitational field, which causes it to be 'bent' in the same way light passing through a lense does. what exactly is your problem with this?
        • May 18 2013: No, it doesn't and science claims that light travels through space at 186,000 miles per second. Light cannot do that if gravity can slow it down, along with many other impediments in space. In the speed of light test from the earth to the moon and back, the light beams fall apart in just that short distance.

          If you can, show evidence that light slows down in a gravitational field, as you must have copy and pasted, unless you can show otherwise.
      • May 18 2013: my mistake. it doesn't slow down, but gravity actually distorts space, which makes a straight line no longer straight, and light curves around the deformation. a good analogy is if you had a slight depression on a billiard table, so if you shoot the ball rolls straight but then curves off as it goes thru the depression. this was predicted by the current model, and since then we've actually seen it many many times. here is a very good image where the effect is very noticeable:

        the laser beams in the earth-moon measurement don't fall apart, they diffract, as all light does when it passes through the atmosphere. interestingly, they diffract exactly as much as the scienctific equations show that they should! what would be amazing would be if that didn't happen.
      • May 20 2013: sorry again, diffusion, not diffraction!

        it doesn't mention it probably because it's something the layman wouldn't understand, and it's not really important to the content of the page anyway. it happens to all light as it passes through anything, it gradually stands to bend outwards in all directions. lasers keep this to a minimum though, but you can see the effect yourself with a cheap laser. shine the laser onto a piece of paper a short distance away, then move the laser as far away as you can from the paper, and notice the spot will be bigger. that's diffusion. yet again science knows very well why and how this happens.

        by the way you didn't bring up lensing again, does that mean you're happy with the explanation i gave?
      • May 21 2013: typos, been doing that a bit lately, 'who' instead of 'where', 'anything' instead of 'everything' etc. if you think that typing mistakes somehow render scientific theory incorrect there's no hope for you at all, but really i don't think you are that silly, more likely you've pounced on it as a way to get out of your inability to support your theory about lensing. (by the way, 2 comments up you typed 'sight' when you should've typed 'site')

        don't get me wrong, i'm still interested in hearing what you have to say about lensing, which is why i've continued this conversation in the hope you will explain what your problem with lensing is.
        • May 21 2013: When people lie to others and themselves, they have made up their mind and nothing the other person says will matter.

          You said, ---- "3 days ago: what do you mean by "defend gravitational lensing"? light slows down as it passes though a gravitational field,"

          I reply, ---your above statement is not as you claim--"10 hours ago: typos, been doing that a bit lately, 'who' instead of 'where', 'anything' instead of 'everything' etc"

          Also, you posted,---- "

          the laser beams in the earth-moon measurement don't fall apart, they diffract, as all light does when it passes through the atmosphere. interestingly, they diffract exactly as much as the scienctific equations show that they should! what would be amazing would be if that didn't happen.

          I reply, you gave the website above, but it says nothing about diffraction. Herein lay another dichotomy by science, according to you and science. You claim the laser light diffracted, while science claims that the laser light came back to earth as single photons and if yours or sciences claims are true, according to science, there is a huge dicotomy created by science.

          If you can tell us what that dichotomy is and admit your wrongs, I'll give it another shot.
      • May 22 2013: yes i asked you 3 days ago what your problem with gravitational lensing is. i gave you what i understand about it, and await your explanation of your theory. how can i ever learn if i'm wrong if you won't say what your idea about lensing is?

        as a separate topic i'll explain about diffusion. as laser light leaves the laser it diffuses (spreads out), so when the light bounces off a mirror it comes back as a much wider circle of light than when it left. nasa didn't put standard mirrors on the moon, they put very special ones that only reflect a single photon of the laser pulse. it makes sense to do this because the other photons of the pulse aren't as useful because diffusion makes them off-center, so they set a device that reflect only the 1 photon is the exact center of the laser pulse.
        • May 22 2013: Stop making stuff up. Those lenses are designed to bounce the light right back to the point of origin and nothing else.
      • May 23 2013: they're mirrors not lenses.

        please correct me about gravitational lensing?
        • May 23 2013: Yup, they are mirrors. Now instead of making up nonsense, read and learn.
      • May 23 2013: what nonsense?

        please correct me about gravitational lensing if i am wrong?
      • May 23 2013: no, lazy and stupid is saying someone is lazy and stupid without giving any supporting evidence for reaching that conclusion. similarly you could say the earth is actually flat, but if you ended it there without making your case, not only would it be lazy and stupid but it'd also make you wrong. any claims without basis are wrong, as so far all of yours have been.

        5 days ago you said no-one can challenge you on the subject of gravitational lensing. i asked you what you problem with the current theory was, and 7 replies later you still haven't told us what your point is. stop stalling, if you have a point, make it! or is the reason you keep going off on tangential arguments because you don't even have a point about gravitational lensing?
        • May 24 2013: You said the following. Where did you read it?
          "nasa didn't put standard mirrors on the moon, they put very special ones that only reflect a single photon."
        • May 24 2013: You said the following "5 days ago: what do you mean by "defend gravitational lensing"? light slows down as it passes though a gravitational field, "

          That's a lie, you made it up. If not, show where science makes that claim or show how your own claims supersede science.
      • May 24 2013: in the article you posted: Here's how it works: A laser pulse shoots out of a telescope on Earth, crosses the Earth-moon divide, and hits the array. Because the mirrors are "corner-cube reflectors," they send the pulse straight back where it came from. "It's like hitting a ball into the corner of a squash court," explains Alley. Back on Earth, telescopes intercept the returning pulse--"usually just a single photon," he marvels.

        it wasn't a lie and i didn't make it up, as i said before: my mistake. it doesn't slow down, but gravity actually distorts space, which makes a straight line no longer straight, and light curves around the deformation. a good analogy is if you had a slight depression on a billiard table, so if you shoot the ball rolls straight but then curves off as it goes thru the depression. this was predicted by the current model, and since then we've actually seen it many many times. here is a very good image where the effect is very noticeable:

        dude i'm still waiting for you to tell me what your problem with gravitational lensing is. yet again you've avoided answering.
        • May 24 2013: Wow, you can copy and paste Ben and here I thought you just made things up.
          So tell us Ben. What does the following have to do with what you and science claim above?

          Kraan-Korteweg, Renée C. & Ofer Lahav. "Galaxies Behind The Milky Way." Scientific America. October 1998. "These measurements, confirmed by the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite in 1989 and 1990, suggest that our galaxy and its neighbors, the so-called Local Group, are moving at 600 kilometers per second (1.34 million miles per hour) in the direction of the constellation Hydra." 600 km/s

          Its ok Ben, go find all the help you can get. At best, all you can do is prove science a liar, as I have pointed out for years.
      • May 25 2013: it doesn't have anything to do with it, it's a different subject. galaxies are moving through space, what's your point? in what way does this prove science a liar?

        how have you ever proved science to be a liar? you keep saying that while showing absolutely nothing.
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    Gord G

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    May 17 2013: It would seem to me that theoretical knowledge informed by our limited empirical senses has a hierarchal bias that has been amplified over centuries of development.

    This would seem to be an obvious statement regarding science conceived within the confines of our perceptions. But the question that plagues me is…If our limited conception of the universe serves us, what purpose is there to discovering a truth outside our reality? Is it that we fear if we don't reach beyond ourselves it will further limit us?
    • May 17 2013: in what way are we limited?
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        Gord G

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        May 17 2013: Our conception of the universe is based on five simple senses. Senses that have evolved within an ecosystem specific to the razor thin slice of life squeezed between infinite space and the crust of the earth.

        The magic of digital imaging has created a reality of our conceptions. For example, every grade school student believes they know what an atom looks like. But of course no one has seen an atom. It's a visualized theory. So to answer your question...we are limited by our belief we are not limited.
        • May 18 2013: no it isn't. firstly we have many more than 5 senses, though we used to believe we only had 5, back in ancient greece, but that mistaken 'knowledge' is now 2300 years out of date. also we've developed sensors and other devices to detect beyond what our biological senses can.

          also actually we have seen a single atom, and we've also directly seen a complete molecule. the device used is called a scanning tunneling microscope, which can also be used to move single atoms.

          perhaps you should do some research before making claims about what we don't know.
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        Gord G

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        May 18 2013: Ben, I appreciate your enthusiasm more than your attitude. You've lost the point in the details. The fact is we have limited access to the understanding of the universe because we're but a minuscule piece in an expanse of possibilities.

        It's a leap of faith that suggests the debatable existence of additional sensory data is indeed separate from the already recognized attributes. It's confrontational to suggest my stance is some how lacking when there has yet to be a definitive conclusion to what you have stated as fact. In addition, regardless of the existence of additional sense, the most basic thoughts on probability would suggest that there are almost infinite ways to perceive the universe.

        In terms of the imaging capabilities of the STM. The topography of the surface is displayed on a computer screen, typically as a grayscale image. The image itself is influenced by the environmental vibration to the STM unit. This is to say, it's an image that depends on our understanding of what is relevant information sourced from a limited vantage point.

        To put it in simple terms...if you think of the universe as a ball pit with billions of red balls and a mere dozen black balls and all we are aware of, or are capable of being aware of, is the black balls than we will never develop instrumentation that perceives red balls (theories, behaviours, effects...etc., etc.).

        But I realize this is simply outside your belief system. And I would be the first to acknowledge the possibility of any conception that is yet to be proven or disproven.

        [I respectfully disagree and I'm moving on...enjoy your day]
        • May 18 2013: please don't take it personally, i react the same to anyone who makes claims without giving any reasoning behind them. how does our being a small piece of the universe mean that we are limited?

          no leap of faith at all. we have goggles that let us see in infra-red, telescopes that let us see in radio, etc. these are common items that we use to expand the potential of our biological senses. what's not definitive about that? if it wasn't true they wouldn't exist, and clearly they do. please explain how you come to the conclusion that there are almost infinite ways to perceive the universe? what does probability have to do with it?

          the image displayed on the screen of an stm is not based on our understanding of what should be there, it shows whatever it is it can see and has no input from us whatsoever. an stm is essentially electron-glasses. in the same way that night-vision glasses don't alter anything, neither does an stm.

          no-one thinks of the universe as a ball pit, it's an analogy. analogies are for the sake of communication and are not to be taken literally.

          what is outside my belief system? more importantly, what is my belief system? in all my comments to you i've included examples of evidence as to how anyone can conclude the same things i have, whereas yours contain a lot of statements but no basis at all. it seems that your disagreement is based on no reason at all. i'm sorry if you don't like what i've said, but not liking something doesn't make it untrue, and is not a sound method for forming one's opinions.
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        Gord G

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        May 18 2013: Ben please consider how often you've dismissed people with this comment..." i'm sorry if you don't like what i've said". I have no animosity toward you or your thoughts. I simply don't agree.
        • May 18 2013: i don't dismiss people i dismiss conclusions based on nothing.

          you still haven't given any reason, evidence, or even an explanation of the thought process that results in your disagreeing. when you give your claims and conclusions no support at all, how is anyone to do anything but dismiss them?

          you said that because we are small then we can't understand the universe without explaining how one leads to the other.

          you said that there are almost infinite ways to perceive the universe without explaining how you came to that conclusion.

          in comparison i explained the way an stm works to show that it has no influence on what it magnifies.

          if what you say is perfectly reasonable and should not be dismissed as baseless, then please give your conclusions some basis so as we might all better understand. otherwise you're disagreeing just because you disagree.
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        May 19 2013: Ben,
        Do we really see infra-red and x-ray and radio waves? Or we see rendered images (of infra-red, x-ray or radio waves) in the visible range of em waves that human eyes can see? I mean do we see sonics exactly the way bats do?
        Our sensory perceptions are results of biological evolution and that way I agree with Gord that we are limited. Any technological intervention, like the goggles you re talking of or even an Electron Microscope are interfaces between our limited range of sensory perceptions and the full range of waves and frequencies (both in lights and sonics) that are there.
        We have been using automobiles to cover distances at impressive speeds for long, does that mean it is humanly possible to move at those speeds?
        Just look at the full range of frequencies of electromagnetic waves to see what a pitifully narrow range is relevant for sight. Same goes with sonics. In the scale of temperatures, human sensations works within a range of 6 to 40 degrees Celsius. A human being cannot tell the difference between -5 and -15 degrees Celsius just by feeling.
        If reality is experiential, it cannot be but limited too.
        We know light travels at a speed of 1.86,000 miles per second. Do we realize just how fast is that? Experientially?
        • May 20 2013: yes we really see them, they are transposed. of course we don't see sounds in the same way bats do, our brains are different. we don't even see things in the same way other people do. actually we don't even really see anything as it is, because our brains colour-adjust for us, eg when we go outside it's actually really blue because of the sky, but our brains 'turn down' the amount of blue so that we get more useful information about our surroundings. we have learned this thanks to science.

          yes automobiles make it humanly possible to move at those speeds. similarly, if i was to grow you a body with extremely long legs and transfer your mind into it, you personally would be able to run very fast indeed. you're talking about biological limitations, not human ones. if we were a primitive society with no science at all then maybe you'd be right, but we're not, and even if we were there'd be the potential.
  • May 17 2013: Jim Ryan you hit the nail on the head. Emptiness or vacuum is a relative state. Its devoid of something or a state we cannot detect due to axiomatic factors. Like air or water space too is a field of elemental "stuff" and it is in continuous vibration because of interaction with adjacent units. At resonance or 1 to 2 ratio it can continue endlessly if it is not disturbed. When disturbed like sound in air LIGHT is radiated. Interactive pressure transmigrate and when light is produced the rate is 2.965E+8 as an axiomatic derivation. It never changes or it cannot because transmigration to and fro equalizes it. This is the Universes axiomatic heritage of abundant power or movement or force or potential.
    The fact that lensing occurs CONFIRMS a medium. Gravity is thetransmigration of the interactive stresses towards the lower count state and when acting simultaneously or in parallel it displays different levels of force. Like a tornado starts from atmos-pressure and by merging with itself in spin creates the pressure difference. Same happens in space. Above all rigorous logic compels us to derive a single source of power FIRST. That has been don on the website
    • May 17 2013: Mr. Srinivasan,

      One has spent some time to look in to abstract and few value been derived sems very accurate with what science has discovered through experiment but need more time to comprehend. Can you pls provide some proof through axioms specially in light spectrum for all of us to see its logic?
      • May 18 2013: Yes certainly. While the COMPLETE proof is on website as the PHO. pdf file, I will bring into focus the most important aspect needed in Physics but exists in Sankhya. Here you will see the Sankhyan logic from start. Call any dynamic moment of existence in reality as ONE time unit. It needs intellectual clarity to UNDERSTAND that in that "ONE" moment THE ENTIRE UNIVERSAL MANIFESTATION PROCESS OF LIMITLESS EVENTS HAVE OCCURRED "SIMULTANEOUSLY" WITHOUT ANY DOUBT. It is an axiomatic statement. No one can challenge that. The next moment too must have the same number of events IF THE UNIVERSE'S SIZE HAS NOT CHANGED IN THAT MOMENT-CHANGING INTERVAL. Therefore the ONE plus ONE =TWO moments MUST CONTAIN the SEQUENCE of ALL THE CHANGES IN THAT INTERVAL. The next axiomatic limit is reached as TWO ^N or 2^n where n is the sequence of change that occurred at each moment WHICH THEN BECOMES A CYCLE OF SIMULTANEOUS EVENTS. These are all simple axiomatic statements of logic that cannot be challenged. See PHO pdf for derivational details. Cycle is 10 units and the self similar change ratio is .618 and the interbal is .618 -1/2 =.118 and therefore the number of events, interactions or sequential cycles MUST BE PROPORTIONAL 10 10^1/.118 =296575966 =C
        Therefore the axiomatic rate of cyclic interactive change MUST BE ONY 296575966 counts / cycle. It is almost equal to the frequency of a light wave of a metre wavength /sec . Is this MAGIC accidental? No. Michelson Morley detected it as a "velocity" of light as c =299792458 metres/ sec or 1.010845 times more as frequencty at 1 meter / sec. Frequency always transmigrates from high to low like temperature. The ratio SUN radius / EARTH orbital radius as 1: 213.45 and 1/213.45 = .00468 is the log of c/C =1.0100845. Hubble blundred intio cocncluding UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING. Where to??
        Even light mus to"FLOW" from high to low frequency. ALL LIGHT FROM ALL STELLAR BODIES ARE BLUE SHIFTED. Science ?????
        • May 20 2013: Mr. Srinivasan,

          Thank you for sharing. Isn't all values derived seems to be Dimensionless ratios? Derivation of instant and its numerical value has a precise value while currant understanding that value approaches to zero. isn't it? Looks very interesting that all values derived internally and any fluctuations in C value leads to sequence of values . Is there any understanding exist perhaps can have some similarity to compare to grasp more clarity that you may know?
    • May 17 2013: Mr. Srinivasan, do you find anything wrong with the following first paragraph, from the web site you gave and if so, how grievous is are the wrongs? If people find one thing wrong, don't we look for more?

      "Understanding Universal phenomena, as a process of manifestation, requires absolute deriving the algorithm that will predict such events correctly, accurately and eternally. Experimental methods detect events after it has occurred and therefore do not have the logic to predict. Therefore theoretical derivations based on experimental findings require guesstimated inputs to create a correct theory that follows natural processes accurately. Any event in reality is preceded by a hidden cause and effect cycle which results in an action and reaction cycle that is detectable. Since the process of detection is possible only in later action reaction cycle the investigator can never detect the preceding cycle. Therefore in a state of balance both these cycles must be equal. Can that be inferred, analysed and and theorized to match the detected results. There is no need to do that because all events in a medium of any type, follow rules or laws that are self similar and can be derived perfectly from axiomatic values."
  • May 15 2013: It is not a testament for the human equation that we are right or wrong in science. What is important is that we try to find truth. I've heard that science was also the exploration of the omniscience and omnipresence of god as well. For the latter? My ignorance shines through.
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    May 14 2013: science proves that the holographic nature of creation lends its self to any we wish state or figure out about it. Does that make it so? it looking from the outside in while life is a flow from withing, all sprouting out if the previous already is, super accurate in its operations, since it all exploded out of the mind boggling
    what? best we stop here? zip our lip? k. magic is at hand, all have near fall silent, what has silenced people ?
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    May 14 2013: Science does not prove any thing it helps us discover.
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    May 13 2013: I am beginning to wonder the same thing.
    I don't really think any thing can be actually proven. we can only propose maybes.
  • May 13 2013: Pabitra:
    What is the point of anyone wanting to say that any particular proposition is "an absolutely proven scientific fact"?! That is a strong assertion, which may be nice if you want to "win an argument", but has very little value otherwise. Science is an elaborate, evolving network of Theories, Axioms, Rules of Thumb, observations and experiments. Very impressive in its ability to separate out nonsense, I would say. (I had Lasik surgery years ago, and I have to tell you,it is "wellproven". Or that astronomical feat of some years ago of hitting a small Asteroid, millions of miles away, with an experimental Impactor. Science has an impressive record of answering people's questions about the "Why " of things, by showing in detail , the "How'. thus displacing a lot of Religion. We do not know how far this can go, but I see no reason to think the process has to stop somewhere. Maybe not.
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      May 13 2013: Shawn, honestly I don't know. But people always seem to claim exactly that.
      In case of Lasik surgery example I think it is better to replace the word "wellproven" by "tested reasonably safe."
      I have a bit of a problem accepting that Science has an impressive record about answering people's questions about the 'why'. I think it is 'how' not 'why'. Any scientific theory can be put in an endless loop of 'why' questions and it, however brilliant, will at one point run out of answer.
      That's why we say knowhow not knowwhy! :)
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    May 12 2013: @Jahre....Is it possible that the experiment performed is faulty or inadequate ??
    • May 13 2013: Yep. Could be completely bogus, flawed and irrelevant...but still repeatable under the scientific method.
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        May 13 2013: Jahfre.....I, myself have repeatedly tried the same thing to repair a computer glitch and of course it doesn't work and I still try. Kinda dumb, isn't ?
        • W T

          • +1
          May 14 2013: That reminds me of a story.

          A little girl was helping her grandmother dust furniture. Try as she might, the little girl kept having to go back over the same furniture several times because her grandmother kept pointing out the dust. At last the little girl looked up to her grandma and noticed something.
          She then said, "Grandma, when was the last time you cleaned your glasses?"

          Many times we perceive things through dirty lenses......a good wash now and then helps.

  • May 12 2013: Science can prove that certain scientifically created outcomes are repeatable.
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    May 12 2013: I personally was always taught you could never prove anything with mathematics, except for mathematical things (e.g Pythagoras). And that there were only really "mathematical hypothesises", which could make a "hypothesis" stronger. (Or seem more credible)
    For instance, if you wanted to be completely honest :
    You would have to call "String Theory", "String hypothesis", considering there is no "observational" or "experimental" evidence backing up "String hypothesis". (From my own knowledge, may be wrong on this though!)
    While if you wanted to get really philosophical you could argue that due to the "problem of inductive reasoning" (posed by David Hume) science actually "can't" prove anything, only what has happened in the past, yet we have "good reason" to assume our studies of the past will be consistent with the future. (
    To sum up most of this debate with a quote:
    "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." - Albert Einstein
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      May 12 2013: I think you have gotten to the core dilemma presented in the debate. If we see an event happening millions/billions/trillions of time and theorize a particular reason for which it happens with a full scale prediction how it will happen next time, it makes it highly/very highly/super highly probable but not with absolute certainty.
      Not with as much certainty as the proposition that the sum of squares of base and height of a right angled triangle in an Euclidean plane will be equal to the square of the hypotenuse.
      Mathematics does not leave any door open for falsification of the proof of its postulates while science does.
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        May 12 2013: Glad to have helped!
        However, with maths I feel by definition it is certain (beyond reasonable doubt) on some things.
        For instance 1 + 1 = 2, is a tautology of due to the definition of what "1" and "2" actually are.
        Or at least this is what I was taught in a philosophy class.
        Do you ever feel the "problem of induction" could ever apply to "deductive reasoning"?
        Kind regards,
        I'm going to thumb up this debate. Really interesting! :D
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          May 12 2013: It is not that difficult to understand why science cannot prove anything without a chance for falsification left as contrasted with mathematics that proves propositions with absolute certainty. It is because unlike mathematics where a treatise begins with a set of axioms (assumptions that by definition are beyond question), science deals with initial configurations that are open to question for:
          a) observational error
          b) wrong inference from an earlier theory
          c) Neither (a) or (b) but a subset of some more fundamental yet hitherto unknown configurations.
          I am expecting that someone will comment on the fundamentality of 'truths' and 'facts' in the context of science sooner so that we can get a bit deeper.
    • May 12 2013: It is an irrefutable fact that airplanes will fly--considering the parameters. Change those parameters and the plane may not fly. If it were not proven, people wouldn't fly, right?
  • May 12 2013: If there were no absolutes, no one would fly in airplanes. Why let the people that control scientists, control you?
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      May 12 2013: Jim, lest you should think that I am ignoring your comments, I need to confess that that I don't really understand what you say.
      • May 12 2013: Pabitra, I can show with just cause and effect, how science is wrong about gravitational lensing, speed of light theory in outer space, gravity and more. The people that control what's said in science don't want the truth when it comes to evolution and more. Whenever I say these things no one challenges me for the proof. Cause and effect are worth a lot more than the supposition, but science refuses the proof.

        Science, through its controllers, don't allow each scientist a voice, unless the controllers allow it. The media controls what's said, not any individual scientist. Individual scientists don't answer to the net, they are handed softball questions, by the controllers bought and paid for, minions.

        I offer proof through cause and effect, but if others don't challenge me, science will keep the general public, ignorant. I'm getting used to most all being brainwashed. My question is why in the world does science want to keep the masses so ignorant, besides in evolution. I know why science does it there.
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          May 12 2013: Fine. I don't follow a lot of what you are saying but it looks as though you are saying gravity (the theory thereof), speed of light in vacuum and gravitational lensing (the phenomenon and its explanation) as per standard model of science are wrong. You are also saying that you can show that these are wrong somehow (cause and effect as you are saying).
          I am a Fellow of Institution of Engineers, India and a Civil Engineer by profession. I have handled University level Physics when I was a student. Will you please let me know your background in Science? I am asking only so that we can cut a long story short between us.
          You are welcome to explain what you have got. Thanks.
      • May 12 2013: Allow me to ask you Pabitra, with all your schooling, what new thinking have you brought to the world, that no one else has? I offer new thinking none in science can refute and I can prove neither you nor science can refute it and yet, by what you say, your cut and paste education should judge others!

        Either accept my challenges and refute them or keep giving excuses. By what you and science do, science is used as a tool for politics and you a tool for them.

        Take my 3 challenges or stop making up excuses.
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          May 12 2013: Dear Jim Ryan,
          I don't want this discourse to be confrontational. I am open to your idea, but I shall not see just what you want to show and will prefer to examine it myself. The idea that you are proposing is expected to involve some technicalities and that is why I wanted to know your background in Science. No offense meant really and no judgment whatsoever.

          Though you didn't reply to what I asked, I shall try to answer your question honestly. I have not not brought any new thinking to this world nothing that no one else has. I have developed a model of using mangroves as a natural and cost effective intervention against bank erosion in alluvial rivers with two other colleagues, one botanist and one marine ecologist. It went into a paper but I am happier to have that model working in the world's largest river delta saving property and life on a daily basis. But it was nothing novel, people knew it all along, just didn't apply as large scale technological intervention.

          Now please stop getting too personal and tell me about your new thinking. It does not have to be a medieval duel.
      • May 12 2013: To the points then. Look at the first picture on this site. Look at where the quasar is, with a galaxy between earth and the quasar and then look at where science claims that an image of the quasar can be seen out to the sides of the galaxy that is in the way.

        Now consider all you know about pictures, cameras, lighting, shadows, shrouded light and projection. Please tell us how a quasar can create its own image, without a background, you know, like a projector screen?

        Tell us also, how can a brilliant object, project its own form? It can project the form of something in front of the light, but not its own form, according to all I have experienced through science.

        Here is a test. Put a brilliant light behind a fence, then tell us, can you see a picture of the light off to the sides of the fence, in the black sky?
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          May 13 2013: "Please tell us how a quasar can create its own image, without a background, you know, like a projector screen?"
          The quasar is not creating its image, a hugely massive body in between is acting like a convex lens generating a virtual image like a ring (albeit distorted). And why it will need a background to project on? It's not a real image at all!
          For your test, the fence is not massive enough to give gravitational lensing effect so you will will not see any light off the side of the fence in the black in the black sky.
          I thought you were going to show me how gravity, gravitational lensing and GR are wrong. You are asking me 7th grade questions on Optics.
      • May 13 2013: Lol, so ya want to call me a 7th grader huh! Ok, but you do so with no proof, unless you have proof? Well, please show us your proof.
      • May 13 2013: What is your hugely massive body and please explain how a convex lens works, does a convex lense focus an image towards its center or does a convex lens focus as you say in a ring fashion and if in your ring fashion, why does the image only show at two outer points? Why don't images show all around the entire "hugely massive object?

        I have more questions.

        Talk is cheap and science is full of it. Where is your evidence?
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          May 13 2013: Dear Jim,
          Possibly you do not know the rules. The burden of proof is on one who is making a claim. In this case you have made a claim and YOU need to prove it. I am not going to answer your questions and have no obligation to supply you any evidence.
          Either place your theory here with necessary logic and proof to substantiate your claim or consider this dialogue terminated.
          I gave you a fair chance. It now appears why nobody wanted to listen to you at the first place.
  • May 11 2013: If they ever get a brain, they may be dangerous.
  • May 10 2013: You might want to read this essay by Isaac Asimov.

    There is a huge gray area between absolute proof and complete speculation. Science is in the gray area, but is much closer to the boundary of absolute proof.
  • May 10 2013: If we wake up to a new world every day We are living in a strange play. Something like Waiting for Godot. Not bad a lot of fun but kinda weird.
    • May 11 2013: Lol, if only you could prove that.
      • May 12 2013: Jim - it's only an observation. Maybe it's an episode from the Twilight Zone. I do know a fellow who seems to be talking about the Twilight Zone and Revelations and comic book heroes in his personal life, but he has an excuse He is mentally ill. We have to have some basic assumptions about reality to function. I guess we also should test our assumptions. I was talking to a person in my office who thought people were watching her and there is a big conspiracy. Do you see those people I asked- point them out?
        I suggested we talk to them - but she wouldn't.
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    May 10 2013: G'day Pabitra

    Very good question Pabitra , science proves that we are still interested in rediscovering ourselves & our environment for which we live so it does prove something.

    Science is flawed because man is flawed which is the same with spirituality/religion or anything else man has anything to do with for which we must accept as we have no other avenue in rediscovering ourselves at this point in time.

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      May 10 2013: Hey Mathew!
      Good to see you here again! :) I noticed your new conversation already. I must say I missed your trouble making :D
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        May 10 2013: G'day Pabitra

        I love trouble because if your not getting into trouble your just agreeing with others without thinking for yourself which has become habitual in our modern day society!!

        Maybe I shouldn't listen to the scientists when they say that we still think while meditating as they could be wrong, I should meditate for the rest of my life so I don't have to think so I wouldn't get into trouble again but no that wouldn't do for me I'm afraid I love thinking maybe toooo much so trouble is my middle name for as long as I think for myself.

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    May 10 2013: I think science does prove many things, especially regarding the natural world but science wouldn't be science if it wasn't open for modification.

    Part of being a scientist is developing a hypothesis and testing it in order to know if their hypothesis is true or not. From what I hear, a good scientist is trying to prove their theory wrong as much as they are trying to prove that its correct.

    Being that I am not a scientist I will choose not to speak on weather or not science has absolutely proven anything although I'm sure there may be a few things out there that are absolute.

    Even if science is not capable of proving absolutes, I still think its the best thing that we have in regards to developing truth claims and facts about the natural world and the universe. I'm not saying that science is the only subject that is capable of establishing truth and facts but when it comes to scientific questions (or even philosophical questions) I think science is great and one of the best methods out there for answers such questions.
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      May 10 2013: Science is not capable of proving anything or is it that science does not seek to prove anything?
      Don't you think we need to find a common ground of understanding for what we mean by truths and facts and their fundamentality? I think a lot of debate comes from those premises as our ideas of truths and facts and those in science may not be same.
      A lot of science is based on probability and probability is somewhat counter intuitive. Or else what can explain the reluctance of human mind embracing scientific values?
      Dr. Richard Dawkins in some video demonstrated this dilemma. Say you are standing at the corner of a room and at the center of the room a cannonball is suspended from the ceiling. Let us also imagine that this cannonball is heavy enough to quash a human head like a water melon. Now if I pull the cannonball up to your nose and explain to you that by simple mechanics it will not hurt you in any way if I let it swing and come back to your nose to as close of a fraction of an inch, will you flinch?
      Will somebody easily believe that his/her watch need to be synchronized every 12 hours in an orbit above the surface of earth by few kilometers to be at par with earth clocks because of general relativity?
      These are absolutely proven scientific facts, or say very solidly proven scietific facts, aren't they?
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        May 11 2013: "Science is not capable of proving anything or is it that science does not seek to prove anything? "

        If you put it that way, I would have to go with the latter. I think they go off of their testing, observations and experimentation with the idea that any findings is subject to change the moment more is learned.

        "Don't you think we need to find a common ground of understanding for what we mean by truths and facts and their fundamentality? I think a lot of debate comes from those premises as our ideas of truths and facts and those in science may not be same."

        I would say yes. This reminds me of Lawrence Krauss book "A Universe from Nothing" in which he talks about his notion of nothing (or those in science) is not the same as the nothing as defined by philosophy and theology....I don't think its as divorced from each other as you think they are but I am with you in regards to finding some common ground in regards to understanding what is being talked about.

        "A lot of science is based on probability and probability is somewhat counter intuitive. Or else what can explain the reluctance of human mind embracing scientific values?"

        I am not sure if you misunderstood my comments. I pretty much agree with everything your saying. I think scientific methodology is a good thing. The world or universe is the way it is weather we like it our not. Some of our experiences may not scale with the way things really are. Also there is a tendency that when things are reduced to their fundamental constituencies, people tend to think there is a loss of value. That's not my issue. I think science can establish very stable values.

        the issue with the cannon ball I would still flinch. not because its a natural tendency but if I was ignorant of what's being told to me I would like to find out through my own observation. As for the watch example, I would want reasons as to why I would need to synchronize my watch every 12 hours...

        and I say i agree with your last question
  • May 10 2013: I like this question do you want a yes or no answer or a reply that has no theories to prove or disprove ?
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    May 10 2013: Most sciences claim to provide theories not facts. A theory passing an empirical test doesn't necessarily mean it is fact.
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    May 10 2013: You have made the common mistake of looking at science in reverse. The scientist doesn't prove he disproves. Experiments are designed to disprove a hypothesis. The more experiments that are done which don't disprove the hypothesis the more reliable it becomes, but technically there is no truth only "what we think now" which must change if an experiment disproves it.
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      May 10 2013: If you read my OP you will see that I have not taken a stand yet. I will of course, in time :) So there is no question, as of now, of making any mistake on my part :) I think I explained that even many scientists are not decided on the question I posed.
      Thanks for your input!
    • May 11 2013: So, are you saying there are no absolutes?
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        May 12 2013: Yep, even scientific "laws" are up for adjustment eg. Newtons laws of motion. These needed the caveat "At non-relativistic velocities" added due to the work of Einstein.
        • May 12 2013: Newton and Einstein were both wrong in several ways and I can show proof, just as I did with gravitational lensing, which Pabitra could not refute and neither can you or anyone in science. I can do the same with speed of light theory and gravity.

          If you or science can refute what I offer, then and only then will I play follow the leader.
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          May 12 2013: I believe that there is only one axiom that exists. The only thing we know is that we do not know
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    May 9 2013: In a sense mathematics only proves the proposition if within the proposition one includes the postulates which are being assumed. For example, many proofs in mathematics rely on the parallel postulate. The parallel postulate is a given within Euclidean Geometry. It is not valid in either spherical geometry or hyperbolic geometry.

    So most of the proofs people do in classical geometry can be considered proved only with the additional specific statement, "Within Euclidean geometry..."

    I totally understood the point in the letter to which you linked. That typically people have two arms and two legs seems acceptable as fact in short, medium, and long run, if not with 100% certainty for all time. I think it is useful to understand the strength of support for scientific claims and also to understand the context.
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      May 10 2013: Hi Fritzie,
      Problem is that lay people do not always understand how science works. This leads to 'scienticism'. There is another debate going on in TED where an author is contending that General Relativity is wrong. It appears from reading the conversation that the author insists he will establish his idea only through open debate, the way lawyers establish a legal point, and not provide mathematical back-up of his idea.
      Mere understanding of how science works can remove a lot of pointless debates, I hope.
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        May 10 2013: I understand that people do not always know how science works. People particularly don't understand what theorists do, confusing theory (which needs to be consistent with observation) and pure speculation.

        The problem when one doesn't understand something is the matter of the sound bite. That science does not prove things, in the sense that any conclusion is open permanently to reconsideration and correction, does not mean that science is just another mythology with best understandings deserving no more weight than anyone's unsupported hunch.

        I have not been following the General Relativity thread, but I know we have had people occasionally decide that multiverse theory means that you can pick the universe in which you actually live and literally shape it in its every detail to your will. And, in connection to your point, some believe such a "theory" has effectively the same validity (or prior probabilities) and follows from the same analytic process as a theory in physics.

        Have you any recommendation on how to correct this problem in a way that can overcome confirmation bias? You might say to teach it early and often, but I suspect people forget lots of stuff they learn regardless.
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          May 10 2013: Wish we are taught philosophy, ethics and values from very young age, Fritzie. It may not be that difficult as we normally think. People forget information but not values, at least not so easily.
          I can notice a deep rooted insecurity of human mind to live with relativity, uncertianty and indeterminacy. We are 'absolute' seekers basically. It goes to the extent that someone who has spent a lifetime realizing the inderminate nature of reality of the physical world at its core makes the mistake of thinking this indeterminacy as absolute :)
          My recommendation would be to have an education system that will create a society as free thinking as possible. From very yoing age we should be able to realize the probabilistic nature of physical world, the meaning and significance of 'truths', 'facts' within the practical thresold of life, the difference between intution and consideration, true worth of an opinion and most imorantly the place and applicability of logic to make meaning of the world.
          Somehow a world divided into scientific community and lay people is not taking us anywhere.
      • May 11 2013: So by your words, everything must have a mathematical component?
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      May 10 2013: You mean to say, the only absolute fact is that there is nothing absolute? :)
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        • May 11 2013: Then by all means, show us when 1+1 does not equal 2. Just sayin, from my perspective, there are plenty of absolutes.