Micro Life Zone
Asked by kwald27 to Blaire, Elizabeth, Jenny, Shona, Simon on 17 Mar 2013.
Keywords: discovery, philosophy
Part of being a scientist is to understand that getting no result or a negitive result is not a bad thing it is a conclusion in itself.
If we are trying to fined the positive or correct answer then knowing the negitive or wrong answers, can help direct our studies in a different area or test to see if we can find the positive answer. So in science we still publish results that don’t find an anwser, becsues that in itself is a conclusion.
With some studies, like ecology studies, we have to look at the data and draw conclusion from what we see at the time. In the future different studies or testing equipment might be able to see part of the ecology diferently and the conclusions might be different. But we have to be true to what we see, collect and study now, if our conclusion is that the answer is a mystery then we say it is.
These types of question are often discussed in great length at conference, when all the scientist come together from all over the world.
Yes as Shona said as a scientist You must interpret the results truthfully regardless of whether they say what you want them to say or not. To ensure that no one ‘cheats’ the system before results are published in the form of a scientific paper they are checked by other scientists who review the paper to check the methods and results are legitimate.
When you design an experiment you must make sure it is designed in a manner that ensure there is no bias towards any particular results.
Science deals with mechanics, like how the big bang happened, not why. There will always be questions that cannot be answered, knowing which they are is a job for philosophers!
What is after the end of the Universe? What was before the big bang? Is there just one universe?
I think the last one is being addressed through mathematics, but not sure. And if the answer is yes, then, I don’t think the math will tell you what it would look like or why it exists. Unanswered questions = the reason we have a brain.
The scientists have answered this question really well. The fact that there are some difficult problems to solve is what drive scientists on. This is their job!
Science works on the principle of falsifiability. This means that you can only find out whether a statement is false and you can’t ever technically prove that something is true. For instance, you might predict that “all wombats are brown”, so you go looking for wombats to support your claim. The more times you find a brown wombat doesn’t prove that all wombats are brown, it just increases your confidence that the next one you find will be brown. If you find a blue wombat, then your statement “all wombats are brown” is false.
We often call things ‘facts’ if we have so much data to support our claim and when the claim hasn’t been falsified. You could say that “it is a fact that when I drop my pen, it will fall to the ground”. This is because every time you have ever dropped your pen, it has fallen to the ground and this statement has never been falsified. This doesn’t mean that tomorrow when you drop your pen, it couldn’t just start flying around the room… but it is more likely that it will fall to the ground, because that is what you have always observed in the past.
Some questions, like SImon pointed out, are unable to be tested scientifically because of the way science works. This is why we have philosophers and artists and religion to ponder these things. Science can tell us a lot, but it can’t tell us everything 🙂
Absolutely, there are a lot of things we can’t know, but the thing I love about science is that it gives us a way to weigh up evidence, to test theories and be really clear about our assumptions. In a lot of the work that I do, we test whether things are going to harm the environment – and you cannot always be 100% sure. But good science allows you to talk about that, and test it and improve every time.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2021