Karela Fry

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The science of Spiderman

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Science, as practitioners know it, begins with asking questions to nature: either in the form of repeated observations of natural phenomena or in more controlled conditions in the lab. The next steps are to try to understand the answer within some already existing framework, and coming to new conclusions which are then tested by asking questions to nature all over again. In this iteration, occasionally, some unexpected twists to the framework of understanding emerge. These are discoveries, some famous, like relativity, others less so.

This iteration is at the heart of the sciences. Many “disciplines” follow the form of a science: drawing graphs, looking at numbers, but fail to follow the iterative steps designed to catch your own errors. These are not sciences.

The description of this iteration hides many interesting details. One part of this methodology of science is to try to produce counterfactuals. If a framework allows something that is known not to happen, then perhaps the frame is incomplete. You can fill it in one way to make it conform to the known universe, or in another way to produce counterfactuals: for example Spiderman.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

June 30, 2012 at 5:14 am

Posted in entertainment

Tagged with ,

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