I saw an interesting looking headline in the Irish Times.
Spot on, says I.
The sub-header was even better.
"A theory is distinguished by having both explanatory and predictive power"
At last, says I, someone is talking sense about science. Let's see where he goes from here.
He started off on a strange ramble about the Giant's Causeway and Creationists, which confused me a little but a lot of what he says is bang on –
"In scientific use, theory means an explanation for some phenomena that has been well-substantiated through repeated experiment and observation. It must have both explanatory and predictive power, being capable of explaining a particular phenomenon and making testable predictions."
Science is a systematic method of inquiry that seeks to investigate various phenomena through empirical and measurable means, establishing new knowledge and correcting prior ideas.
A hallmark of science is its utter objectivity. It doesn’t care about your prejudices, political persuasions or religion; it is concerned only with evidence, and that which is asserted with only dubious evidence is suspect in the extreme.
You would never guess what's coming next?
Not only do people dispute evolution, many deny the existence of man-made global warming, despite incontrovertible evidence.
What the flaming fuck?
Here is a bloke claiming that a theory has to have "both explanatory and predictive power" and he then throws up Global Warming and claims "incontrovertible evidence"? For a start, there are many theories as to the cause of climate change, but where is the clincher – where is the predictive power? The so called Climate "Scientists" have so far failed abysmally in any attempt to predict anything. In fact they spend their time frantically adjusting their theories to fit the facts, and when they're not doing that, their adjusting facts to fit their theories.
He then even manages to bring in smoking claiming that "the scientific evidence was beyond dispute". He derides cherry-picking of evidence, yet the whole smoking controversy is based solidly on cherry-picking. And where is the predictive power? Predictive power should state that under laboratory conditions, tobacco smoke should produce cancer in test animals, yet that has never happened despite their best efforts. Predictive power should state that nations with the highest smoking rates have the highest cancer rates yet there is no relationship.
I don't know who this David Robert Grimes is. He describes himself on his Twitter account as "Doctor of physics, Dabbling writer, occasional musician / actor. Full time Jedi Knight. Foppish hair."
Maybe he should concentrate on the acting?