Re: definition of science

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Sun Apr 24 2005 - 01:27:22 EDT

The key to Keith's response is "testing " and not experiment. The two are
not the same. You can test the past but not experiment on it.
The misconception that science is by definition empirical and experimental
plagues much understanding of what science is. YECs and IDers as in the OHIO
group , who tried to wreck science teaching a year or two ago, try to argue
that historical science is non-experimental and thus a faith position. Sadly
too many ASAers share the confusion.

Michael
----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Miller" <kbmill@ksu.edu>
To: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2005 3:10 AM
Subject: Re: definition of science

> Robert Schneider wrote:
>
>> Keith,
>>
>> Having enjoyed Michael's ironic elimination of geology and evolutionary
>> biology from "true science," I should like you to follow up with an
>> elaboration of your definition of science, below. Since you are a
>> geologist yourself, how do you integrate the historical sciences into
>> your definition of "science"?
>>
>> Bob Schneider
>
> My definition is below:
>
> "Science is the human endeavor to understand how the physical universe
> works by constructing testable cause-and-effect natural explanations of
> events and processes based on observations of the physical world."
>
> This describes geological science as well as chemistry. As I have argued
> several times on this forum and elsewhere, hypotheses in the historical
> sciences are fully testable. What I do as a geologist is continual
> hypothesis testing. Every new observation is a test of expectations based
> on previous observations and theoretical understanding. Hypothesis are
> accepted, modified or rejected based on new observations (equivalent to
> new experimental trials).
>
> Keith
>
>
> Keith B. Miller
> Research Assistant Professor
> Dept of Geology, Kansas State University
> Manhattan, KS 66506-3201
> 785-532-2250
> http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~kbmill/
>
>
Received on Sun Apr 24 01:30:28 2005

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