Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Observational Domain

  1. Feb 23, 2006 #1
    It can be said that whatever is outside the observational domain of scientists is outside the observational domain of science itself.

    How can it then be supported at all that historical entities can be shown to exist using science? Of course, a historical entity which exists to this day can of course be observed. But one that existed but no longer exists is certainly something science cannot touch, inhale, or feel.

    Probable cause leads us to conclusions, but if the probability of a certain cause is not 100%, then the cause is suspect to the criticism of skeptics.

    We know that the rules for the cosmological principle usually do not apply at the atomic, molecular, and star-level. However, the same rules for the cosmological priniciple (e.g. isotropy and homogeneity) work pretty well when a relatively small observer is met up within a single very large object, such as the ocean.

    One problem I have noticed in particular is the lack of observational proof whether the cosmological principle is true for distances greater than 10 billion light years. Granted, that is all speculation at this moment, but shouldn't the same level of skepticism be warranted when someone says that the universe 10 billion light years from us is like the region within 1 billion light years of us?

    As far I have I been shown, evidence for the cosmological principle is always circular, and the conceptual foundation pyramid for this subject that most easily comes to my mind is this one:

    Code (Text):

        Cosmo. Princ.
        WMAP Conclus.
       Big Bang Theory  
    Cosmological Principle
    That the laws of physics are the same everywhere for all time is no evidence that the universe must be uniform and isotropic at all scales. While, small chaos often has regular characteristics, regular entities themselves, when socialized, can produce chaotic behavior.

    What we observe is that a heterogeneous distribution of heterogeneity and homogenity itself is a physical property of the universe and of all the constitutents therein. Even the characteristics of galaxies at different redshifts is heterogeneous. Even time lacks the property of being homogeneous (e.g. its rate depends on the rules of General Relativity and Special Relativity).

    But is the cosmological principle (e.g. isotropy and heterogeneity) verifiable at a scale of 10 Billion Light years? Yes, if we are talking about the existence of matter, galaxies, and stars, but no if we are talking about the "demographics" of the distant populations. We can see images of these low-metal galaxies, images that have travelled many billions of light years to get here.

    Is it mere philisophical speculation when we think about whether the cosmological principle applies for distances greater than 10 billion light years?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2006 #2
    Science is a tool, and therefore has no "domain" as you have said. This is seen from the definition of science (obtained from dictionary.com)

    Clearly this definition asserts that science is a tool/method that can be used to conduct research. The conductor of this research is known as a scientist. The purpose of this research is to gain knowledge. Therefore, science is not knowledge, but a means to obtain knowledge. As with any tool, science has no observational domain; the person using it does. In theory any tool could work; the restrictions are only realized by the person using it.

    There are both indirect and direct means to research. Both methods can be equally accurate. For example, say I have three apples, one green, one yellow and one red. I am keeping them all in one bag. I give you the green apple and the yellow apple. Obviously the only one left is the red apple. You could infer this indirectly, without me having to point it out. Likewise, it is possible to accurately research the lives of persons who lived hundreds of years ago through indirect means.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Observational Domain
  1. An Observation (Replies: 10)

  2. Observer? (Replies: 7)

  3. Observing Observers (Replies: 0)

  4. Observer schmobserver (Replies: 2)

  5. Domain day (Replies: 1)