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(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)
Science, considered as a body of knowledge, is a collection of interrelated theories about the world.
- A theory is a model or picture of some limited domain of experience that is deemed to have been satisfactorily confirmed by experiment. Prior to verification by experiment (or rather to exposure to possible falsification by experiment) a model with a measure of explanatory power, otherwise known as an hypothesis.
- In fact, as Popper has shown, no general law can ever strictly be verified. However, our confidence in it increases in proportion to the number of tests it survives without falsification.
- A theory that is quite adequate in one domain may be inadequate in another. The classic example is Newton's theory of dynamics, which is only a good approximation to the world at speeds small compared to that of light.
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