Remember Martin: Science is an Analogy.

I have been thinking a lot lately about “Truth” and the scientific method and what we think of as “scientific truth”. If one looks back in time, you will find many times that the prevailing “scientific truth” was thrown over by subsequent research. For example most scientists used to believe the earth was the center of the universe and then along came Copernicus with the alternate theory that the Sun was the center. There was a long period of argument where the two sides went at it because they both had math and observational data that “proved”the conflicting theories. Over time most came to believe Copernicus because of the weight of data and experience tipped in his favor. But it remains a theory, an explanation of our experience that makes sense, an analogy. An explanation of the thing is not the thing itself, nor is it a complete explanation, only an explanation of what we can observe.

The entire process of science is attempting to explain by analogy what we observe. And as we observe more, we keep finding problems with the explanations. Newton did a good job of upgrading our understanding of the physical world with the laws of physics and they fit our observations very well. Until some guys looked deeper and discovered Quantum physics. At the atomic level, things behave very differently than the physical level. Some particles only appear when they are observed. Some particles can communicate state changes over long distances without any detectible communication mechanisms. These observations remain largely unexplained. Does the fact we cannot yet understand them to mean they don’t exist? No, just that our analogy to how it works is incomplete. It may never be complete. Because how those particles operate is not by laws that our scientists discovered, they have no comprehension of our laws or understanding. They are doing their own thing.

What we call scientific “laws” are just our current analogy understanding of what we have so far observed. Not the thing itself. Remember this and your stress to find the “truth” or the “law” that explains it all may be diminished.

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