xgwen的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/xgwen

博文

专科 vs 民科 科学 vs 宗教 (expert vs crackpot) 精选

已有 14364 次阅读 2014-2-18 00:47 |系统分类:科研笔记

In Science,  it is meaningless to ask questions or make statements that can not be measured/tested by experiments

在科学中,只有能被实验检验对错的论述,才有意义。只有答案能被实验检验对错的问题,才有意义。

I feel that a meaningful scientific question should satisfy the following condition: The different answers to the question should have different measurable consequences.

Also a meaningful scientific statement should satisfies the following condition: The statement being true or false should have different measurable consequences.

For example, "a sign shows 'stop'" is a meaningful scientific statement since it can be tested by looking at the sign. But "What does a sign show before anyone looks at it?" may not be a meaningful scientific question. (Or is it?) This kind of issue appear in the measurement theory of quantum mechanics.

How to ask a meaningful scientific question? One may first think about what might the potential answer be. Then try to design an experiment to test the validity of the answer. A scientific question is meaningful or meaningless depend on the ability to design an experiment that can test the validity of its potential answer.

Here is an example: "Is existence timeless or in time?" The potential answers are: Existence is timeless and Existence is in time. The next task is to design an experiment to test the validity of the statement "Existence is timeless" or "Existence is in time". Here I have trouble. I do not know what experiment can test the  validity of the above statement. Another commen example is "does God exist?" What is the experimental setup to test "God exits" or "God does not exist"?

Being able to design experiments to test/probe those "tough" questions will produce great scientific progresses.  One big area of scientific research is to design such kind of experiments and to make some of those used-to-be meaningless questions meaningful. (Certainly, most meaningless questions remain meaningless.)

Not having such experiments, the questions are not a meaningful scientific questions. The burden is on the person who ask the question to provide the experiment that, at least in principle, can test the validity of the potential answer.

There are many people (also known as crackpot) who make spectacular claim  about their original theories of everything. Usually, the problem with their theories is that the theories are not even wrong: The theories contain no consequences that can be tested and used to falsify the theory.



https://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1116346-768445.html

上一篇:Have a physics/math question in your research? Just ask!
下一篇:物理中的近代数学 Modern mathematics in physics
收藏 IP: 76.24.26.*| 热度|

35 王荣林 孙学军 曹裕波 田云川 强涛 梁大成 蔡小宁 董洁林 张鹏举 王涛 文克玲 王春艳 韦玉程 李宇斌 徐晓 苏力宏 贺乐 袁海涛 马红孺 王超 刘全慧 黄兴滨 薛宇 施郁 王秋平 司黎明 zhngshai JIANHUN DXY1234 truth21ct ybtr3929 liyouxi decipherer Allanmu xiaoliable

该博文允许注册用户评论 请点击登录 评论 (81 个评论)

数据加载中...
扫一扫,分享此博文

Archiver|手机版|科学网 ( 京ICP备07017567号-12 )

GMT+8, 2024-2-23 18:58

Powered by ScienceNet.cn

Copyright © 2007- 中国科学报社

返回顶部