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What is cosmology

  1. Feb 22, 2005 #1

    wolram

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    Is cosmology a sales pitch or science? i am baffled by the conflicting
    observations, you all know, without explanation what i mean, yes or
    no, is good in between not so good. an honest appraisal would be
    welcome
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2005 #2

    Garth

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    Observational cosmology is science, theoretical cosmology is a necessary support exercise to under-gird the observations, however it is speculative by nature and its conclusions are theory dependent.
    There is nothing wrong with that so long as we do not mistake consensus for evidence.
    "Cosmologists are often in error but never in doubt."

    Garth
     
  4. Feb 24, 2005 #3
    i found this definition on a website:
    "the metaphysical study of the origin and nature of the universe"
     
  5. Feb 24, 2005 #4

    Phobos

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    Cosmology is the scientific study of the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe. The degrees of uncertainty and the roadbumps along the way ("conflicting observations") do not detract from its value as a science. Science is about discovery and understanding and should begin with uncertainty.

    Certainty is a sales pitch.
     
  6. Feb 24, 2005 #5

    wolram

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    Nicely said Phobos, but are current scientific views portrayed to
    the public as certainties.ie a black hole is, a super nova is, gravity
    is, expansion is.
     
  7. Mar 1, 2005 #6

    Phobos

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    Perhaps. Obviously, the scientific literature will present the uncertainties that are left out of the public presentations (particularly when scientific discoveries are reported by 3rd parties like a mass media outlet). But it seems to me that at least when scientists present ideas to the public there is some attempt to indicate what is known vs. what is an area of ongoing research (or the general degrees of certainty).

    I'll all for more public science education! :)
     
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