Scientific theories: The illusion of their “progress”

 

Many people regard “science” as a sector where humans progress constantly. Many people have the wrong idea that new scientific theories “build up” on older existing ones. Scientist lovers are extremely keen on insisting that this fact proves that science is “the way to go” if knowledge is our goal as humans.

However the truth is far more different. In essense all new scientific theories completely “destroy” the previous ones and do not build upon them! Take for example the Theory of Relativity (ToR) and the gravitational theory of Newton. The latter thought of the Universe as a set where planets affected one another with an instant force. On the other hard Einstein described the world of gravity (with the General ToR) as a space where the planets create curves in the timespace continuoum which is in turn responsible for the movements of the planets. In other words: even though many would like the opposite, the two theories have NOTHING IN COMMON when it comes to their essense!

Do not get fooled by the fact that both theories try to explain the same thing: i.e. the fact that a planet attracts other planets! The basic meaning of the two theories is as similar as a kangaroo is with a small glass bottle…

Other examples can also easily show the same: Take for example the Euclidian geometry and the Riemman geometry. The quantum mechanics interpretation that a conscious human makes the wavefunction collapse and the interpretation which claims that everything is purely random. Any theory which is significantly different than its predecessors (or other theories which compete with it) is not something “similar but improved”. It is something completely different! If tommorow it is “proved” (strange word indeed…) that we are all made up of string and not atoms, how that would be “progress” ?

“OK. But is it not different towards a better understanding of reality?” someone might argue. But in order to use that argument you should now where reality actually lies (in order to see of the new theory is more close to that). And even in that case, the argument still has nothing to do with “building up” on old theories.

What drives science is intuition and free thinking! Not the short-sighted expansion of already existing theories or models! If that was the case, then every idiot patient enough to collect and analyze data (hey! isn’t not that what todays “scientists” do?) would be able to find new innovative theories. But this is not the case… Einstein did not need multi-billion dollar accelerators…

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos is a thinker located in Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector related to the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!

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