.not science

on science

.not science

Science is a discipline and there’s different forms and strengths to discipline. A lot of fields fall short of having discipline at all while others look like having it from the outside but in fact don’t.

Mathematics is not science. It is used by scientific fields and usually confused with those fields but mathematics is a purely theoretical discipline. Mathematics only exists in our minds and doesn’t depend on reality in any way or can be disproven by experiment. Theoretical physics is not a science by itself either. It is more like mathematics, an hypothesis generator for experimental physics to test. In fact, the biggest problem in physics today is theoretical physics is so far ahead of our technology and experimental capabilities that we’re just spinning out multiple hypothesis we can’t verify and converge on.

Economics is a weak science, most of the macroeconomic theory was never tested. In vanishing few occasions could an economic intervention cobe tested reproducibly against a control, which means despite the better efforts of economists they’ll never have a theory as sound as Newton’s Gravity. Not that economists should give up! Their work is generally serious and as rigorous as possible but headlines about economics should take into account they’re mostly really well founded opinions.

Human and social sciences are sciences in the sense they seek knowledge, but their thesis are even weaker than economics. Almost all experimentation in these fields is immoral and research is limited to small studies and accidental natural experiments, uncontrolled happenings which accidentally produce useful data. These fields are full of competing theories without a way to test, prune and iterate forward.

And then there’s “occult science”, “alternative science”, astrologies, energy healings and other worse charlatans. These are the fields of ignorance and con artists. If they had anything in common with science they’d just be science, not alterntive.

(c) Carlos Morgado 2019,2020