Friday, October 9, 2015

Fishing for Answers with Science

The Universe is full of complexity, an unfathomable array of factual states of energy and matter in constant flux across space and time. These factual data-points are, as a whole and even in the most specific atomic cases (thanks Mr. Heisenberg) fully unknowable.

In a sense we humans are but minuscule fish adrift in the great fish tank of Existence.
Something is very fishy about this idea!

Science to the rescue!

Fish we may be, but we are crafty fish.   We have devised the scientific method, a rational, systematic, self-correcting method by which we can identify useful patterns in the vast ocean of drifting detritus.

The scientific method, in its fundamental form, encourages the creation of a specific hypothesis based on observation and imagination.  (Goldfish are intelligent.)

Next under as controlled conditions as possible, the hypothesis is tested.  (A bowl of goldfish are given a calculus exam of the waterproof variety at 65 degrees Fahrenheit)

Data is collected through honest observation. (After two hours of exposure the goldfish nibble at the corners of the test)

Analysis of observation occurs leveraging mathematical modeling to quantify the outcome (Scoring of test reveals 0 of 100 points scored.)

Conclusions are then made (Goldfish are not intelligent...when it comes to calculus)

Of course, the most important aspect of science is that it takes a recursive path.  By reviewing past experiments and modifying them we can more effectively understand a given situation.  This essentially takes the form of tweaking the hypothesis, refining the test apparatus, data collection, and result formation.  To borrow a phrase "shake, bake, and repeat" (present fish excluded) until a more refined understanding is established.  In this way the scientific method over time can zero in on a truer picture of the world.

Refined Goldfish Hypothesis 2.0:  Goldfish are intelligent... in regards to Byzantine Empire history.

...of course silly hypotheses can lead us on a wild trout chase.

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