Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Correct until proved otherwise

I remember reading a quote in my childhood which goes like this.. "The best scientific theories of today are only to be proved wrong in future". Sadly this is just true; to explain this better, consider this situation..

Do you play your favorite playlist on phone while at shower? How many times have you tried to guess the song that's playing amidst all the noise? You come up with a guess, it seems correct for a few seconds and then, no, the music sounds different and you come up with another (more refined) guess.. You keep doing this over and over, sometimes trying to concentrate, until you finally know what the song is. Well, a lot of theories in physics and astronomy is similar to this - at best guesses. We fit a model, come up with an hypothesis that seems to explain all the observed behavior. After a while when we discover a considerable deviation from reality, we repeal the hypothesis and synthesize a new one that explains all the old and new observed phenomena. However, the sad state is, while at shower, you can always close the tap, pull the curtain and find what the song really is because you have heard it earlier.. but in nature, everything is a first time experience!

Somehow, had this thought while at shower today and wanted to blog it.