Scientific theories often taken on 'faith'

info@islandpacket.comMay 8, 2013 

A few weeks ago, a letter criticizing an editorial cartoon stated that science is based on fact and religion is based on faith.

In Stephen W. Hawking's book, "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes," he writes, "Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it." He goes on to discuss Albert Einstein and his general theory of relativity and how it predicts motion different from Isaac Newton's theory. He points out that while this disproves Newton's theory, Newton's is simpler than Einstein's and still accurate enough that it continues to be used in schools.

Einstein's theory better describes the universe, but it has never been proved and is just another hypothesis that has not been disproved. If even one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, Stephen Hawking, recognizes how much of science is based on "faith," I would think your letter writer should accept the fact that both science and religion are quite faith-based.

The cartoonist should be complimented on explaining complex thoughts in such a way that even I can understand them.

Ray Oleson

Hilton Head Island

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