Different approach to sciences?

Is there a different approach to the sciences of chemistry, biology and astronomy than to the origins of the universe and science of evolution?

It seems to me that there is, but I so not know.

It seems that biology and chemistry study what actually exists.

The Big Band and Evolution seems to study “this is the way that I would have made the universe.”

Is this accurate? If so, how accurate?

Is this inaccurate? If so, how inaccurate?

I am here to ask questions, not start a fight.

I will read answers but will not disagree or even agree.

I will say thanks to all who help, in advance and even later.

Thanks

Well, traditionally, science changes from theory to “fact” when experiments are conducted to test a hypothesis using the scientific method.

The steps of the scientific method are to:

Ask a question about the Natural World
Do some background research
Construct a hypothesis
Test the hypothesis by conducting a repeatable experiment
Analyze the data and determine if the results statistically support your hypothesis
Publish the results through the peer-reviewed process

The statistical tools available for hypothesis testing should give a quantitative number of how good your hypothesis is (like, this experiment validates the hypothesis to within 95% certainty). The experiment must be repeatable by other experimentalists.

It’s impossible to construct repeatable experiments to test the theories of the origins of the universe AND connect them properly to describe a complete narrative from the big bang to the Red Sox, Mozart, Salsa dancing, etc. At best, we have “naturalistic observations,” which do lead to theories, but not to scientific facts. The main difference is one between causality and correlation. For example, we have centuries of data of how a rooster crows and then the sun comes up. That is a correlation. But someone who is confusing correlation with causality could say “the rooster is causing the sun to rise.”

Interestingly, this was the biggest snafu between Galileo and the Catholic Church: The Catholic church wanted Galileo to present his findings as a theory, and he chose to defy them and present them as fact. Obviously he did suffer abuses that he didn’t deserve, but the point is that the Church was trying to prevent science from descending into junk science… which is *exactly *what was have today. There is far too much “science” that has been politicized and thus become junk. If scientists went back to the traditional days of using the scientific method, science would be rescued. Otherwise, I would be very leery of believing anything just because a scientist said it.

Just one physicist’s opinion…

Blessings,
Jules

Pope John Paul II seemed to have a different interpretation:

Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture…

Hmm… I suppose it depends on the details and timing of events, right?

For example, something that is important for scientific integrity is to have the experiments be repeatable in the general sense. That is, other people must be able to repeat the experiments to “validate” the hypothesis. Did Galileo have a proper peer-review and replication of his work when he went public as his science being worthy of the title “fact”? I think that is what the Church was rebuking him over, wasn’t it? Otherwise, they wouldn’t have encouraged him to communicate his ideas as a theory, right?

Looking forward to your reply.

Jules

None of that now-established scientific practice of peer review and repeatable experimentation existed at the time – in fact, that’s what His Holiness meant by “practically invented the experimental method.” This is the same man who conducted the simple experiment to prove that heavy objects accelerate from the earth’s gravity at the same rate as light ones. Before that people believed that the rate that an object fell was proportional to its weight.

The established scientific practice at the time was to only publish works in accordance with the Church’s teaching and interpretation of Scripture. The Church’s objections to Galileo’s work was based on its heliocentric content, not its rigor or lack thereof. Heliocentrism was a heresy and that is what Galileo was convicted of – heresy.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a summary of the Galileo affair.

He was presently interrogated before the Inquisition, which after consultation declared the system he upheld to be scientifically false, and anti-Scriptural or heretical, and that he must renounce it. This he obediently did, promising to teach it no more. Then followed a decree of the Congregation of the Index dated 5 March 1616, prohibiting various heretical works to which were added any advocating the Copernican system. In this decree no mention is made of Galileo, or of any of his works. Neither is the name of the pope introduced, though there is no doubt that he fully approved the decision, having presided at the session of the Inquisition, wherein the matter was discussed and decided. In thus acting, it is undeniable that the ecclesiastical authorities committed a grave and deplorable error, and sanctioned an altogether false principle as to the proper use of Scripture.

Nah, that’s the cynical approach to the Galileo story that has been ubiquitous amongst those who would pit the Church versus science. (Not saying you are one of them, but that has been the cynical approach amongst those who are anti-Catholic.)

Here is a short clip on what REALLY happened:

"But Galileo was intent on ramming Copernicus down the throat of Christendom. The irony is that when he started his campaign, he enjoyed almost universal good will among the Catholic hierarchy. But he managed to alienate almost everybody with his caustic manner and aggressive tactics. His position gave the Church authorities no room to maneuver: they either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and reinterpret Scripture accordingly; or they had to condemn it. He refused the reasonable third position which the Church offered him: that Copernicanism might be considered a hypothesis, one even superior to the Ptolemaic system, until further proof could be adduced. "

From catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0005.html

Both sides were at fault, but the main point I would like to make is that Galileo was the spitting image of an arrogant “I’m accountable to no one” scientist… and one who is (sadly) idolized today as the epitome of the perfect scientific investigator… Erudition is SUPPOSED to inform the ethics of a scientist, but with modernists being so happy to worship at the alter of the prideful Galileo, we now have a plethora of junk scientists who are happy to bypass the Scientific Method and circle the wagons around each other, mesmerizing the masses all the while…

Just one physicist’s opinion…

Jules

One of these approaches is cynical, yes, but I don’t think that it is the one with nihil obstat and imprimatur. The article you quote conveniently ignores the fact that the Church added all works (not just Galileo’s) advocating the Copernican theory to the index of banned books soon after Galileo’s first trial. This has nothing to do with scientific accuracy or proof, and everything to do with the lack of will to reinterpret scripture honestly.

And the personal conduct of Galileo in no way changes the basic facts, just as the personal conduct of Alexander VI in no way changes the basic tenets and authority of the Church.

Mr. Johnston seems overly apologetic for the acts of Church members during a time which was notorious for its abuses. Luckily the Church today and its leaders are more willing to admit and apologize for the errors of their predecessors.

I am the OP.

I asked the questions poorly.

What I am trying to say is difficult.

Does our modern physics use math to understand the physical universe? And the answer is yes.

Do they then assume that math is the cause of gravity and the theories of relativity?

Are they confusing description of the universe by math and then assuming math is the cause?

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

THANKS!

I’ve always wondered what the atheistic response is to the origin of physical laws. That is, why is it that gravitational force between two planets is GM1M2/R^2 as opposed to GM1M2/R^2.145…?

I think that the mathematical description of the universe is our way of discerning and communicating the order in which God made the Universe. If you are asking about atheistic scientists, well… I don’t know honestly. The few I’ve spoken to about it (so far) haven’t been able to say much of any substance. It’s usually something like “it is because it is…” sigh

Much of the cutting-edge “scientific” advancement in gravitational physics is theoretical and is dominated by the mathematicians. Much of the cutting edge “scientific” advancement in large, complex systems (like climate change) is semi-empirical and is dominated by the computer modelers who have the ability to “tweak” their models to lean in favor of their theories. Personally, I think it’s a mistake to call *anything *a scientific “fact” until it’s been proven experimentally via the scientific method.

I’m not sure if that answers your questions… I know it’s a tough subject to talk about.

Blessings,
Jules

Actually the personal conduct of Galileo is precisely the problem: he was an arrogant and impatient scientist. The Church did not say “NO”, they said “Not yet.” That wasn’t good enough for him because he knew better. Did you know that delay of gratification is one of the indicators of how mature a human being is psychologically? (look it up!) And far too many scientists today act just as badly, and the sad thing is that these modern day scientists are not as skilled as he was. This is why we have far too much junk science today. Erudition is the dignity of a scientist – it’s not just about being right, but it is also about a covenant relationship with the society which the scientist serves.

Anyway, I think out of respect for the OP, maybe we should continue this conversation in a new thread, if you are willing. Seems we got off topic…

Jules

Jules:

thanks!

I still thinking.

I am the OP.

This is a question.

The math and science that we do on earth with chemistry and physics is a “posteriori.”

It seems that the math and science that we do for the Big Bang is “a priori.”

Is it quasi 'a priori"? (a priori: existing in the mind prior to and independent of experience, as a faculty or character trait. Compare a posteriori)

Is that correct?

Also, and again this is a question, in accounting I cannot tell if a company is making money or not if I do not know how much they started the with at the beginning of the year.

In the Big Bang, if we do not know the size of the universe, how does one get to that singularity?

Thanks!

Well… with a LOT of assumptions, what astrophysicists do is to observe what is called the Doppler effect in line emission spectra of stars, and from that they can conclude how fast the universe is expanding.

Quickly:

  1. Doppler effect: a moving object emitting a wave will cause it to compress if the object is moving toward you or expand if it is moving away from you. A practical example is a train… remember how it seems to have a high pitch as it is coming toward you, then a low one as it is moving away? That is the Doppler effect for sounds waves. Higher frequency means higher pitch in sound. Hold that thought.

  2. Line emission spectra: Various chemical and nuclear reactions take place in stars, and some of the products are light waves with specific frequencies corresponding to the different reactions. They include visible from purple to red, but also infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, and so forth.

  3. There is a distinct pattern of lines which corresponds to the set of reactions which each star is going through. Think of it as a finger print.

  4. The frequency of light increases toward the purple end of the visible end of the spectrum.

  5. Put this all together, and a star moving toward us would be “blue-shifted”, whereas one moving away is “red-shifted”. That is, the pattern of emission lines still show up as a fingerprint, but the whole pattern has an offset depending on its speed relative to Earth.

Scientists have found that all of the stars have a red shift. The farther the spectrum is shifted toward the red, the faster it is moving away from us.

But wait, does that mean we are at the center of the universe? no! The explanation comes in part two.

Jules

So the stars are all moving away from us… but they are also moving away from each other! But… how can that be?

Einstein postulated that if we were in space and traveled in a straight line indefinitely, we would eventually come back to our starting point. That makes no sense to us, but here’s why… have you ever heard of a book called “Flatland”? It is a fictional book written about a world which is only two-dimensional. It is so well-done that mathematicians love it. Seeing the limited knowledge of a 2D creature from the perspective of one living in the 3D world, we can think a little bit about a 4D (spatial) world.

Imagine an ant who lives on a balloon. That ant only knows forward and back, left and right… but he has no concept of up or down. Now that ant is told that if he were to travel in a straight line indefinitely, he would come back to his starting point.

Sound familiar?

Now, imagine that this balloon has tiny dots all over it. What happens if the balloon expands? All the dots move away from each other.

Pretty wild, isn’t it?

Anyway, I wish I could talk longer, but I am about to leave CAF. I’ll still be around if you want to PM me tho. It’ll go to my email.

Take care,
Jules

Jules:

Thank you!

Any further help?

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