Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages

Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)

The world obeys a number of fairly simple physical laws, which form the modern scientific worldview, which is fundamentally correct.

  1. A physical law1 is a means of assigning a probability to a future state of affairs, given the disposition of the relevant portion of the world at the present time.
  2. The term simple2 requires explanation. It has to be understood in its context.
  3. Despite the fact that the world seems to obey a number of simple laws, it cannot yet be demonstrated beyond all contradiction that all3 of experience may be reduced to law, nor that all of the world's laws are simple, because not all of experience has yet been analysed nor are all of the world's laws yet fully understood.
  4. It might be objected that, since old theories are constantly being replaced by new ones (eg. Newton's theories of dynamics & gravitation by Einstein's special & general theories of relativity; the various theories of the atom; etc.), we should despair of the absolute and final4 truth of scientific laws. However, the replacements are not random changes of mind, but usually represent either the correction of less accurate models by ones of greater precision or the expansion of the domain of reference of the enquiry.
  5. The fact that the world displays a regular5 pattern is the reason we can make some sense of it and our ability to predict its future (when we can) is due to the operation of its laws.
  6. While the basic laws of a system may be simple, their consequences may be very complex6; even, in practise, indeterminate.
  7. A system of beliefs based on extraordinary7 events, ie. those with no explanation within the the normal framework of physical law, requires a greater level of proof than one based on common experience.

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
12/08/2007 10:17:46 175 (Scientific Law) CT Introduction

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Complexity Extraordinary Events Nomic Completeness Paradigm Shifts Physical Laws
Regularity Simplicity      

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Summary of Note Links to this Page

CT Introduction        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Text Colour Conventions

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Sept 2020.Please address any comments on this page to output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this PageReturn to Theo Todman's Philosophy PageReturn to Theo Todman's Home Page