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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Science Is Provisional... And Mathematics a Luxury


Sunday reflection:
That’s how real science advances… Three steps forward, two steps back. Mathematicians have the luxury of living in a logical bubble, where once something is proved true, it remains true. Interpretations and proofs may change, but the theorems don’t get unproved by later discoveries. Though they may become obsolete or irrelevant to current concerns. Science is always provisional, only as good as the current evidence. In response to such evidence, scientists reserve the right to change their minds.

— Ian Stewart in Epilogue to “Calculating the Cosmos



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