February 14, 2020

The Truth is Out There

The Truth is Out There

Science is the synthesis of the Empirical and Rational approaches

  • There is an “objective reality” outside us
  • The reality has some rules
    • It is not (completely) random. There are rules
    • The rules are “logic”
    • The rules do not change
  • We may not see the rules directly
  • We can (in theory) discover these rules using reason
  • Authority is not relevant

Everybody wants to be “Scientific”

Today Science has prestige. Many people wants to have this “badge”

  • Philosophical Sciences
  • Religious Sciences
  • Hidden Sciences
  • Supernatural Sciences
  • Political Sciences

Some of these are better called PseudoSciences

Kinds of “Official” Sciences

Exact Sciences
Mathematics. Truth abut imaginary things.
Positive Sciences
what is “put” outside.
the observer is not part of the system.
“objective reality”.
Natural Sciences
Reality is the Nature.
Social Sciences
Reality is the Human Society.

What is Science

Since there is no “authority”, nobody can make an “official” definition of Science.

There are two ways to “define” Science:

  • Science is what scientist do
    • very much used in practice
    • but kind of useless definition
    • does not allow to separate Science from PseudoScience
  • Science is the result of applying the scientific method

An operational definition of Science


  • Our Observations depend on our previous Knowledge
    • Noise becomes Signal
  • Finding patterns is the first step: Exploratory Analysis
  • The key is to ask Good Questions
  • Explanations are “models”, in a broad sense
  • Valid models should produce new predictions
  • Observations and Test can be done in the lab
  • “Knowledge” means Published

Characterization of Science

  • About “outside”
  • About visible things
    • Things that you can measure
  • Explanatory
    • Logic
  • Peer reviewed
  • Replicable


In this framework, Technology is about Things Built by Humans

  • Machines
  • Processes
  • Know how…


Question: Does Technology derive from Science?


(the real one)

Using any recording device (paper, cell phone, etc), take note of the questions that you can ask about what you see every day

Especially about questions that you don’t know the answer


  • How much pee is in our swimming pools?
  • Why people prefer their local football team?
  • Are men taller than women? Why?
  • Are men better paid than women for the same job? why?
  • How ants get organized? Is there a central authority?
  • How fashion emerges?

More examples

  • How old is the Earth?
  • Are there other planets with life?
  • Are we alone in the universe?
  • What is life?
  • Why Turkish grammar is the way it is?
  • Why the West rules?