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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

Nature of Science

From the brand-spanking-new Kansas Board of Education-approved science standards (links 1 and 2), a section about the "Nature of Science":

Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us. Throughout history people from many cultures have used the methods of science to contribute to scientific knowledge and technological innovations, making science a worldwide enterprise. Scientists test explanations against the natural world, logically integrating observations and tested hypotheses with accepted explanations to gradually build more reliable and accurate understandings of nature. Scientific explanations must be testable and repeatable, and findings must be confirmed through additional observation and experimentation. As it is practiced in the late 20th and early 21st century, science is restricted to explaining only the natural world, using only natural cause. This is because science currently has no tools to test explanations using non-natural (such as supernatural) causes.
Hypothesis, law, and theory are frequently misunderstood terms used in science. A hypothesis is a testable statement about the natural world that can be used to design experiments and to build more complex inferences and explanations. A law is a descriptive generalization based on repeated observations. A theory is a well-substantiated explanation of the natural world that incorporates observations, inferences, laws, well-tested hypotheses and experimental findings to explain a specific aspect of the natural world. Theories drive research because they draw attention to areas where data or understandings are incomplete, suggesting additional directions for research.
The effect of these criteria is to ensure that scientific explanations about the world can be modified or abandoned in favor of new explanations if empirical evidence so warrants. Because all scientific explanations depend on observational and experimental confirmation, all scientific knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as additional evidence becomes available and/or as new technologies extends our abilities to explore. This open-endedness of science is its greatest strength, and allows for constant refining and improvement of explanations. Although all scientific knowledge is in principle tentative, science has a high degree of confidence in explanations that have been repeatedly tested and shown to be valid. The willingness of scientists to change explanations based on evidence, actually results in more reliable information. Changes in scientific knowledge can occur gradually or rapidly. The early 21st century is a time of quite rapid scientific advancement, characterized by a high rate of both discovery and accumulation of knowledge. Rather then developing “new” theories, the current explosion of knowledge has greatly expanded the basic and well-accepted principles from physics, chemistry, earth sciences, and biological sciences. Scientists recognize that there are still new frontiers of science. (Source, emphasis mine)
I am simply nonplussed. More later.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.