Scientific Thinking LO22014

Richard Charles Holloway (
Sun, 27 Jun 1999 20:40:21 -0700

Replying to LO22001 --

I've been following your question and the replies you've received with
some interest, Rick.

I thought that I'd share an observation about theories that I've picked up
in reading some of the popular books available on physics, biology, and so

First, is the realization that almost all ideas and theories expounded a
hundred years ago are now either completely disproved or they've been
limited to explaining specific conditions or environments and no longer
are the "complete" explanation. The rare exceptions are those that occur,
for instance, in mathematics. But even here, new mathematical concepts
must be discovered to explain new theories (or, as is often the case, new
mathematics concepts are discovered and then await--sometime for many
years--the theory's discovery that will use the new mathematics to support

Second, is the realization that theories must be aesthetically pleasing to
be generally accepted. This is of course connected to the idea that
somehow and somewhere a grand unifying theory is waiting to be found.

As multi-disciplinary studies have begun to show, there is a great
interconnectivity among the different scientific theories which are
currently accepted. respond to your question...sometimes we get some very ugly
organizational theories and continue to see those advocated and expounded
until someone realizes they don't work. Theories which please the
aesthete and which prove practical are perhaps the ones we should be
looking for (and are also the ones that probably meet Occam's test).


"Richard Charles Holloway" <>

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