Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Science Changes

One of the things I teach (or try to teach) students is that science has limitations - it is not the solver of all the world's problems as some would have us think. For example, science cannot make value judgments - it cannot decide if abortion or euthanasia is right or wrong. Science is limited to models in some areas because some things are too big or too small to study directly. Science cannot study spiritual things because they are not observable. Science can't prove a universal negative because man cannot be everywhere at once. Science can't adequately study origins because they are not observable - no one was there.

The rapidly changing path of Tropical Storm Fay has borne out three other limitations of science.
  1. Science changes - it is workable but not permanent.
  2. Science is fallible - it makes mistakes.
  3. Science cannot change God-ordained restrictions. Scientists cannot change the direction of a tropical storm just as they cannot change the speed of the rotation of the earth or the speed of the revolution of the earth around the sun. There is absolutely nothing they can do except attempt to predict which way the storm is going to go.

As of right now, it looks like Tropical Storm Fay will not really affect our weather. It changed directions greatly over a twenty-four hour period. It's a disappointment that we probably are not going to get the hoped-for rainfall. But it makes a great example for use in my classroom right here at the start of the school year.

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