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How do astrophysicists balance truth and creativity

  1. Apr 16, 2012 #1
    i met a brilliant scientist about a year ago
    he invented one very very important item that saved millions of lives

    little is known about space from an outsiders perspective atleast is
    yet scientists have to work with truths
    it seems like a delicate balance to find truths about space while utilizing creativity
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Well, yes and no. We have hundreds of years of astronomical observations, and the amount of data that is being taken at the present time is roughly such that in ~10 years of data collection we will take more data than in all of previous human history. So whenever an astrophysicist comes up with some theory about how some phenomenon happens, that's obviously a creative process. But his creativity is limited in that ultimately he must check to make sure that his idea is compatible with what we know about reality. If it is not, he must discard it. Sometimes, we don't know because of a lack of observations, and in which case it's the job of the community to find a way to test this theory. That's how science progresses!
  4. Apr 16, 2012 #3
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