Another poster responded to one of my posts in another thread on physics, and I thought what he said was very interesting. It reminded me of a 35 page term paper I wrote for renaissance-enlightenment philosophy while I was in college. So I wanted to discuss it in a separate thread, in order to get others’ thoughts and so as not to diverge from the topic in the other thread.
I perceive the scientific method as requiring many acts of faith: faith in the scientist running the experiment, faith in the experimental design (as it relates to the real world), and faith in the interpretation of the experiment. The other poster pointed out that objects in the real world, quantum particles (like we suppose light to be), only have meaning as they relate to the sensory apparati of our bodies (eyes, neurons, our faculty for language and defining terms). I would say that this is essentially an accurate statement.
Science has not directly observed electrons, for example, nor can we define what positive and negative charges are or how they are attracted to each other. Electromagnetism therefore remains shrouded in a fog. Science, however, teaches in classrooms that these items exist, almost dogmatically, while the fact remains that we don’t understand said items.
I am not saying that quantum particles do not exist, but that proof for them is based on conjecture. We can indirectly experience them, but we do not know for sure. I believe that we have a good working model for quantum physics…otherwise we would t have computers and smart phones to post on message boards.
What I would like to discuss in this thread is the epistemic foundations of science, and how science requires a synthetic apriori judgment, or an act of faith. Dissenting opinions welcome!