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Science isn't the kind of circular dynamic I thought it was.

  1. Jul 26, 2013 #1
    Science isn't the kind of "circular dynamic" I thought it was.

    "Why the laws are as they are is a pretty easy question to answer."

    The statement above really bothers me.

    Why is C constant? Why does mass distort space-time? ...

    Experiment tells us what the laws are

    but experiments don't exactly tell us why the laws are set that way.

    or can they?

    You can tell me why mass distorts space-time because that's what the experiment shows, but does the experiment give reason as to why mass distorts space-time in the first place?

    I'm struggling to word this but,

    Can Physics explain itself?

    Can it make the full loop?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2013 #2


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    All physics does is tell us how something changes or reacts in response to changes in environment or conditions.

    The question of why something is the way it is is more appropriate for metaphysics rather than physics.
  4. Jul 26, 2013 #3


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    You never really prove a theory's correctness, you just test its validity until it's no longer valid.

    And the best test is to check how much does the theoretical result differ from the experiment, that's the only merit a successful theory has.
  5. Jul 26, 2013 #4
    It is very unlikely that any theory of reality can explain itself. It is unlikely that any theory of anything can explain itself. At some point there is a postulate. In mathematics the postulates/axioms are chosen for a number of reasons. In physics they are chosen to fit with experiment (and be as simple as possible).

    Since physics quickly gets very complex, take simple math. How do you prove that 7+6=13? Usually one would say "well, I have 7 apples and I have another 6 apples..." but how do we know that the same holds for pencils? It doesn't work for clocks (in North America).

    One might dream that someday part of the set of postulates could be used to prove the others, but we should be humbled by the failure to do so in mathematics. I shouldn't bring up Godel's incompleteness theorem because I don't know enough about it and I've been told that it can't be applied to physics, but I just did, so read about it.
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