Between a rock and a hard (to understand) relativity

The men and women who conduct research in science  have a system of procedures for establishing what is a fact and what is not; it’s what we call the scientific method, and this is how it happens:
1.) The scientist observes phenomena in the physical world and poses a question. Example: Galileo sees an apple fall from an open window and hit the ground. He wonders: If that apple were a heavier object–say, a pumpkin– would it fall faster and thus hit the ground sooner?
2.) The scientist forms a hypothesis. Example: Galileo hypothesizes that two objects of different weighty will fall at different speeds when dropped from the same height, and strike the ground at different times.
3.) The scientist tests the hypothesis by constructing a controlled experiment. Example: Galileo drops two balls of different weights, at the same time, from atop the leaning Tower of Pisa.
4.) The scientist observes and notes the effects (data) of his/her experiment. Example: Galileo notices that both balls hit the ground at the same time instead of at different times.
5.) The scientist forms a conclusion. Example: Galileo reasons that the speed of a falling object is not determined by the weight of the object.
6.) The scientist publishes an account of the experiment and its conclusion.
7.) Other scientists subsequently reconstruct or refine the experiment to prove or disprove the first scientist’s conclusion.
8.) Other scientists develop new observations and new hypotheses for further inquiry. Example: Isaac Newton sees an apple fall from its tree and wonders: Why does the apple fall?

This method has evolved in the scientific community over the last 700 years or so. And before science was  recognized as a productive discipline, artisans used trial and error along with observation to ascertain useful practice in all human endeavors.

But what about the accumulation of human knowledge prior to the scientific method? Is all human tradition and wisdom from antiquity nullified or brought into question by an absence of scientific method that would have verified it?

No. There is, by cultural consensus, common experience and common sense, established truth in human experience and history that preceded science. I will be offering more on this topic later, especially as it relates to morality and ethics.
Have a nice day, and thanks for stopping by.


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