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Sunday, April 4, RET Roundtable

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What: Rationalists of East Tennessee Roundtable Discussion
When: Sunday, April 4, 10:30 a.m. (Socializing begins around 10:00 a.m.)
Where: Boardroom at the Candy Factory

Science Fashions and Scientific Fact
Michael Riordan
Physics Today; August 2003



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(Notes by Phil King)

In a world where we are pummeled by scientific studies in support of this policy and that opinion, how are we ever to discern the truth about reality or about the policy our government should be following? Or, in other words, how are we to know the difference between "Scientific Fashions" and "Scientific Facts?"

What constitutes reality, as opposed to mere opinion? What distinguishes science from art? Taking a page from physics, we see that experiment and "withering skepticism" play crucial roles in determining scientific fact. Is superstring theory science fashion? - or science fact? In physics, new ideas and theories must run the gauntlet of experimental observation. How can we delineate between the "stuff" out there and what is merely in our heads (the vagaries of me and you)? Skepticism is to reality as death is to the survival of species through natural selection.

Come and reason with us as we attempt to "read the book of nature."


Posted by pking
Mar. 30, 2004