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Truth Through Combat

Definitions of Science

I came across the following recently. I thought it would make a good discussion topic. The definition of science (if there is a single “correct” definition) seems a crucial step towards the proper understanding of truth. Is science the sole guardian of truth? What relationships exist between science as a collection of facts and moral truth, if any? Can science help find God, or is this a foolish attempt that relies on a misunderstanding of terms? 
One famous definition of science is Karl Popper’s: Science deals with falsifiable statements. A “falsifiable statement” is a statement capable of being determined true or false on the basis of observation. In other words, a statement such as “The table is on the floor” is falsifiable because we can observe our surroundings and make a determination as to the statement’s truth. On the other hand, a statement like “God exists” is not falsifiable because there is no possible observation that would prove the statement false. Popper puts it this way:
  • I think that we shall have to get accustomed to the idea that we must not look upon science as a “body of knowledge”, but rather as a system of hypotheses, or as a system of guesses or anticipations that in principle cannot be justified, but with which we work as long as they stand up to tests, and of which we are never justified in saying that we know they are “true”… (from The Logic of Scientific Discovery).
In other words, it is not “truth” that science seeks, but the removal of unjustified statements that do not stand up to the “right tests.”

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