The Most Important Scientific Concept To Understand


by zoobyshoe
Tags: concept, important, scientific
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#1
May3-05, 05:32 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
A pole of scientists gives a surprising variety of opinions:

Address:http://www.spiked-online.com/section...-B/default.htm

The one that stood out to me, in the context of PF, was: "Science is disputative."

Alot of people echoed Feynman's answer to this question: "everything's made of atoms."

Which one resonates for you?

Warning: this apparently off hand quetion is a surreptitious rohrschach test. Your answer will reveal masses of information about the festering corruption and pathological contortions latent in your subconscious.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Internet co-creator Cerf debunks 'myth' that US runs it
Astronomical forensics uncover planetary disks in Hubble archive
Solar-powered two-seat Sunseeker airplane has progress report
hypatia
hypatia is offline
#2
May3-05, 06:39 PM
hypatia's Avatar
P: 1,296
Carlo Rovelli

the ideas you have in mind, and that seem so certain to you, might be wrong.
Evo
Evo is offline
#3
May3-05, 06:51 PM
Mentor
Evo's Avatar
P: 25,967
I had to go with David Deutsch because I like him.

There are a few concepts in the philosophy of science which I wish everyone understood. But I'm not sure that I can single out one concept, or even a few, in science itself. I wish everyone were familiar with the basic ideas of our most basic theories. So I guess I wish that everyone would read my 1997 book, The Fabric of Reality: Towards a Theory of Everything.
He's shameless.

cronxeh
cronxeh is offline
#4
May3-05, 07:14 PM
PF Gold
cronxeh's Avatar
P: 1,236

The Most Important Scientific Concept To Understand


Quote Quote by Leo Tolstoy
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the highest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
Knowing and accepting when you are wrong, such as in Einstein's case with Quantum Mechanics.
franznietzsche
franznietzsche is offline
#5
May3-05, 07:32 PM
P: 1,782
That no matter how close your predictions are, your explanation is still not quite right and suffers from the fundamental flaws inherent in your assumptions.
gravenewworld
gravenewworld is offline
#6
May3-05, 07:34 PM
P: 1,389
I would have to say what my chem prof. always said. "science doesn't explain why, but how."
Danger
Danger is offline
#7
May3-05, 07:36 PM
PF Gold
Danger's Avatar
P: 8,961
Reality never conforms to the blueprints.
Gokul43201
Gokul43201 is offline
#8
May3-05, 07:43 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Gokul43201's Avatar
P: 11,154
When a scientific explanation is simple, it's most often wrong; and when it is right, it's terribly complex.
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#9
May3-05, 07:56 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by Gokul43201
When a scientific explanation is simple, it's most often wrong; and when it is right, it's terribly complex.
I have a problem with this as a blanket statement because aren't simplicity and complexity of explanation relative to the mind of the individual pondering the matter?
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#10
May3-05, 07:59 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by Evo
So I guess I wish everyone would read my 1997 book...
Priceless!
ron damon
ron damon is offline
#11
May3-05, 11:56 PM
P: 185
Learning how reality can be understood in terms of information and rules is the most amazing thing I've taken from my study of physics and mathematics. How an idea can contain the subtlest of phenomena really makes me wonder why it should be so. The first time I say how a disarmingly simple polar equation could reproduce the shape of a flower, my mind was born anew...
Ivan Seeking
Ivan Seeking is offline
#12
May4-05, 01:08 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Ivan Seeking's Avatar
P: 12,493
Here is one that I liked: Science can validate experience, but not deny it.

I don't know if this is the most important to understand, but for me one of the most profound realizations was that physical theories are merely models which may or may not ever approach the essence of reality; whether or not they do, we can never know. I found this to be damned annoying and quite disappointing really, but I have since learned to love this fact.
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#13
May4-05, 01:23 AM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Did anyone find a lamer one than:

Scientists fall in love - with experiments.

?
Joel
Joel is offline
#14
May4-05, 02:39 AM
P: 183
This should be made clear in all high-schools:

Science is nothing but trained and organised common sense
honestrosewater
honestrosewater is offline
#15
May5-05, 06:35 AM
PF Gold
honestrosewater's Avatar
P: 2,330
I only read the first two pages (I at least pretend to have a life ). I think the one that would have the greatest impact on people's lives was:
Quote Quote by Jesse M Bering
Evolutionary biology implies that human life is meaningless, and existential psychology asserts that human life is fundamentally absurd
And the most useless:
Quote Quote by Dr Alec D Bangham
Amphiphiles are molecules that have an affinity for both aqueous and non-aqueous media.
hypnagogue
hypnagogue is offline
#16
May5-05, 02:13 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 2,264
The ones I like the most are variations on a common theme: "How science inspires puzzlement and wonder"; "Uncovering the layers underlying observable phenomena gives a picture of reality that is more profound than reality appears to be"; "Conclusions drawn from scientific experiments are more satisfying, more intellectually stimulating and much more amazing than fiction"; "The fascination that attends the discovery of how things function"

Most important, I'd say, is "The potential benefits of stem-cell research are enormous"

Corniest: "Science = imagination + humility^2"

Most boring (albeit useful): "There are many small tricks to shorten calculations, or to check the results of calculations - such as estimating, rounding, and divisibility tests"
Monique
Monique is offline
#17
May5-05, 07:10 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Monique's Avatar
P: 4,622
The most important scientific concept is to be critical.
The Rev
The Rev is offline
#18
May5-05, 08:08 PM
P: 77
Sh*t happens.

[tex]\infty[/tex]

The Rev


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Please HELP....Don't Understand Simple Concept on Riemann Sums Calculus & Beyond Homework 1
don`t understand concept of function,limit General Math 1