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Re: List User-related request

John Conway writes:

Of course, it's all got to do with what you mean by "truth" or "*the* truth", but I think the line that science is not about finding truth is an odd one, and certainly not a necessary part of falsificationism.

This could quickly turn into a philosphical debate that has little (if anything) to do with dinosaurs.

Ultimately, of course, there is no such thing as 'truth' as far as proof goes. It's an absolute concept that can never be proven absolutely (even a 99.999% likelihood is still not absolute enough). The best science can come up with are 'facts', which are thought (at the time) to be close enough to the truth (ie. the absolute state of affairs) to be workable. Of course, yesterdays fact can become tomorrows fiction very easily (and the day after that, the erroneously labeled fiction can become fact again).

To call a highly likely fact 'truth' requires a leap of faith in order to turn that 99.999% probability (or more likely less) into a 100% certainty. Thus I can see how religion (that regularly makes leaps of faith) can be said to be more concerned with 'truth' (an absolute concept) than science, which has to make do with highly changable 'facts'.

Of course, concepts in themselves are not real entities, and thus definitions like 'truth' and 'fact' will always change - making this entire post somewhat pointless. :)


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs