Science Is Not About Certainty Summary

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KVR Critical Essay: Science is not a Certainty Science is often thought to be centered on its empirical data, numbers and observations, that are then organized and hypotheses are made to interpret this data. Carlo Rovelli disputes this view of science to be something more than empirical information in his excerpt, Science Is Not About Certainty. Rovelli states that there is a problem with saying science is based on data and not the content that a theory presents. He believes that theories should not be changed or discounted because they cannot account for every anomaly, but rather they should be viewed for what they do explain and how they change the way we conceptualize the world. The author then describes science as not being about certainty,…show more content…
He references the theories of Newtonian Mechanics and Maxwell's Equations, both of which are well supported by data, but they contradict each other. The author claims that in today's view of science these theories would be dismissed in favor of a theory that supports the data, however, Einstein's theory of Special Relativity was made by taking what would be the qualitative aspects, something that most scientists refrain from doing as objectivity is often considered to be most important, of each theory and, as stated by the author, forces coherence between the two theories. I find this claim to be held factual by the author as it draws on the works of well-known theories that are supported by empirical data to function. While these theories do leave out or cannot explain all phenomena they are highly regarded theories as they have built a new way to view as to how the world…show more content…
The author specifically talks about theoretical physics using the theories of Quantum Gravity and String Theory by comparing how he sees these theories with his philosophy of science, the acknowledgement of previous theories. He views what he studies, Quantum Gravity, as the joining of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics by taking both these theories seriously for what they are trying to explain and expand them to better fit each other as the expanded theories have been empirically supported, even if that means some aspect in the way we see the world has to be changed, which in this case is the concept of what time is. This is similar to what the author says about what Einstein did to create his theory. String Theory, he sees, is the attempt of encompassing as much of the empirical data, shown in both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, while dismissing them for having anomalies. By dismissing these theories and creating a new one to replace them then questions the conclusions of each, leaving the new theory with no groundwork besides the empirical data. I agree with his standpoint as I believe that the qualitative aspects of theories in science are just as important to consider as the numbers used to support the theory as they cannot be separated; this claim is supported by

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