Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life, Author: Massimo Pigliucci.
Conjectures and Refutations, Author: Karl Popper.
By Massimo Pigliucci – The general theory of relativity is sound science; ‘theories’ of psychoanalysis, as well as Marxist accounts of the unfolding of historical events, are pseudoscience. This was the conclusion reached a number of decades ago by Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science. Popper was interested in what he called the ‘demarcation problem’, or how to make sense of the difference between science and non-science, and in particular science and pseudoscience.
You might have heard of string theory. It’s something that the fundamental physics community has been playing around with for a few decades now, in their pursuit of what Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg grandly called ‘a theory of everything.’
It isn’t really a theory of everything, and in fact, technically, string theory isn’t even a theory, not if by that name one means mature conceptual constructions, such as the theory of evolution, or that of continental drift.
In fact, string theory is better described as a general framework – the most mathematically sophisticated one available at the moment – to resolve a fundamental problem in modern physics: general relativity and quantum mechanics are highly successful scientific theories, and yet, when they are applied to certain problems, like the physics of black holes, or that of the singularity that gave origin to the universe, they give us sharply contrasting predictions. more> http://goo.gl/DAJ33Q
Posted in Book review, Economy, Education, History, Nature, Science
Tagged Methodology, Philosophy, Physics, Science, String theory, Theory
Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture, Authors: Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel.
By Maria Popova – Big data doesn’t comply with the basic premise of the scientific method — rather than eventuating causal relationships borne out of pre-existing hypotheses, it presents a seemingly bottomless pit of correlations awaiting discovery, often through the combination of doggedness and serendipity, an approach diametrically opposed to hypothesis-driven research.
But that, arguably, is exactly what makes big data so alluring — as Stuart Firestein has argued in his fantastic case for why ignorance rather than certitude drives science, modern science could use what the scientific establishment so readily dismisses as “curiosity-driven research” — exploratory, hypothesis-free investigations of processes, relationships, and phenomena. more> http://tinyurl.com/mb2ghss
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Big data, Business improvement, Discovery, Industrial economy, Jobs, Science, Technology, Theory