RE: definition of science

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Sun Apr 24 2005 - 12:44:31 EDT

The easiest way to make rigorous, logical predictions is to set your findings in mathematical forms. For instance, a nonscientist wrote the Balmer series of the hydrogen atom. However, such succinct expression led Bohr to his elementary model of the atom. The German monk Gregor Mendel did that in his genetic studies of peas. The real question is if complex systems can eventually be expressed in terms of mathematical forms. I believe that that is the goal when studying the physical aspect of nature. Of course, historical sciences are sciences owing to the experimental sciences they use in their hypothesized timelines.

 
Moorad

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Keith Miller
Sent: Sun 4/24/2005 10:25 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: definition of science

Moorad wrote:

> Is the question of origins a scientific question? What role does
> mathematics play in your definition? In addition, can we limit science
> to explanations and forget about predictions?

Scientific hypothesis may be mathematical but they need not be, and
most are not. Mathematics as a discipline is not science. Testing
requires expectations to be drawn from current theoretical
understanding. Those expectations regarding future observations are
predictions.

Keith
Received on Sun Apr 24 12:47:36 2005

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