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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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    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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