Actually, I have to refute that, bub. Today, you call it electostatic repulsion, and believe in gravity, atoms, and such. Not that long ago, the earth was the center of the universe, the body was ruled by the humors, and oh yes, the earth was flat.
And could you blame people with such limited observational skills or tools?
Man first thought the Earth was flat. It's a reasonable enough observation - the horizon is three miles away and atmosphere bends light - on uneven terrain it becomes an impossibility to eyeball - hell even the oceans do not perfectly hug the Earth.
But then - even with their limited instrumentation, the Greeks figured the Earth to be a sphere over two thousand years ago.
Of course, they were 'wrong' too. Are you saying that the Greeks were just as wrong as the flat-Earthers?
In the 19th century, it was found that the Earth was actually an oblate spheroid - the Earth has a greater equatorial diameter than its polar diameter.
Of course, the people who discovered this were wrong as well. Are you saying they are just as wrong as the Greeks? For crying out loud, it's still taught as an oblate spheroid because, frankly, the term geoid
has some pretty damned specific uses.
How do you KNOW that Einstein is right?
The same way that I know Galileo and Newton are both still correct. Aristotelian physics could be likened to the flat Earth, and Newtonian physics the sphere. Einstein's Relativity would be the oblate spheroid.
You see, the thing is, a new scientific theory has to explain previously observed phenomenon. That's why we teach Newtonian mechanics in high school and Freshman and Sophomore physics courses - outside of extreme situations, it still applies.
Of course, relativity is a whole hell of a lot more useful than knowing the Earth is an oblate spheroid. It forms a core of our modern understanding of magnetics, and must be taken into account in modern computers and networks.
Hell. Your very own poster child here had his own theory named after the point I'm trying to get across
. That is to say, the first postulate of relativity declares that Newtonian mechanics hold in all inertial reference frames.
How do you know that some hotshot twenty years from now, some future Galileo or Darwin won't turn everything on it's ear, and prove all of accepted science wrong... again?
When was the first time?
Galileo turned the accepted understanding of the world - Aristotle's declarations - on its head, at least in Europe, but what Aristotle did was not the scientific method. Quite the opposite, even.
What Einstein did was formulate a theory that had been simmering for some time, after repeated failures to find the ether, etc. His work was not done in a vacuum, and a great deal of observation and math was worked out to get him to create his theory.
And any successive theory must likewise encapsulate the results that have shown relativity to be so robust so far. And, just as relativity is taught at a higher level than Newtonian physics, so would this new theory end up being higher level - thousands of math and physics doctorates are not really breaking much ground. If Einstein is wrong, it is at such extreme levels of observation that we will likely have to create the necessary energy densities to prove it ourselves, rather than watch particles bouncing off of distant black holes or from distant supernovas.
That requires energy levels some six orders of magnitude greater than CERN. Not happening any time soon.
I try to make it a point to understand everything I claim to know. I'm human, of course, and make mistakes, and of course this does not apply to most sorts of social interactions, but it works well enough that, if someone wants me to explain a pretty oddball piece of science, I can usually give it a good shot.
And that understanding, at every level, is potentially useful
. This is the key - science saves lives, produces energy, supports billions.
You have faith in science. Hell, so do I. I buy what they're selling, I totally drink that koolaid.
The only requirement to be a scientist is that you use the scientific method
You don't need any education at all.
But I also accept that in the future, what we hold as fact now might be laughed at by future generations.
There are studies that pass themselves off as science that may certainly earn some chuckles - String Theory is not science, for example, and certainly, people who outright declare that Relativity is the be-all-end-all might get some chuckles, too. But we laugh at Aristotle, and not Newton or Galileo. We mostly wonder how it took Europe so damned long, really...
The holes that a new theory supplanting Relativity need to fill are either incredibly tiny, or occur under seriously extreme conditions.
Although I do like to entertain "The Road Less Traveled" by Turtledove. Certainly an amusing read, but it really is a bit silly.
I just have faith that what we believe now is the best knowledge we have, it makes sense, and it's true.
So, I'm not 'crowing about faith'. No matter what or who I believe, it's still a matter of BELIEVING it. The fact that you believe in science (and I'm on the same page as you, here) means you have faith in what we currently believe.
My statement doesn't change. -Not- having that sort of faith is absolutely useless. You can't live like that, at least, not while remaining sane. This 'faith' demonstrably allows six and a half billion people to affect the world in ways that they otherwise would not be capable of, whether they know it or not.
Religious faith has no such claim.
And bleh. Posting this now 'cause I don't want to lose it >_>