SCIENCE: the exercise of attempting to abstract patterns of predictability from a chaotic nature

Acquiring the capacity to expect and predict is crucial to the survival of all living entities. Not expecting or planning for a tsunami, eruption, earthquake or significant climate change is a very poor strategy for survival. Most of such events are unpredictable and unpreventable, so that the only pragmatic course of action is preparation. Since the ability to predict would be so useful, much human effort has been directed towards that end.

The cosmos is so complex and chaotic that it is necessary to simplify or perish. Humans have always needed to simplify and predict factors about their environment, but for much of their evolution the basis of their expectations has been an accumulating entanglement of empirical common sense and mystical speculation. The cosmos is a multiplicity of evolving structures each of which has a limited capacity to sustain itself in an environment of ever-present chaotic perturbations. No structure, whether it be a star, a living biological creature, or a sub-atomic particle, is insulated from nature's omni-present unpredictable disturbances to their integrity. The scientific method is a procedure that involves simplifying a situation as much as is practical and observing the consequences of the controlling of associated events. In a chosen situation the influence of as many aspects as is practical is minimized and then the presumed remaining aspects are manipulating in an attempt to uncover any pattern of behaviour. The pattern is then symbolized mathematically if at all possible. If there is no mathematics available and suitable for the detected pattern, then suitable mathematics must be contrived. The potential power of such a procedure is supposed to be, that any such exercise can be duplicated and hence confirmed or repudiated... as the case may be...

All such attempted simplifications are only exactly that... they are never absolute revelations. The division of the universe into fire, earth, water and air, was a scientific model which guided interactions and theories about each. An air bubble may be approximated by a sphere, but it is not, even though such a simplification enables much practical prediction and design. Water breaks up from laminar flow into identifiable droplets, but whose diversity of form is ultimately undefinable. Clouds of water vapour in the air have identifiable meteorological forms... cumulus, cirrus, and the like... but any mathematical analysis is limited by the chaotic noise which is encountered with increasing attempts at precision. All such endeavours are attempting to impose patterns of simplicity on a infinitely chaotic nature. There may be occasional episodes whereby previously unrelated fields are integrated by some sort of synoptic simplification, but in general, any advances in science will be by imposing increasingly sophisticated simplifications. Most, if not all, introspective philosophizing about the objectives and methods of science, have ignored the blatantly obvious conditions of existence. Nature is chaotic. No system can be considered or contrived which is not subject to unpredictable irregularities. To suppose that certain immutable laws or truths can be induced from a plethora of data is misguided. The influence of chaotic systems can never be eliminated. Previously unsuspected influences of physical systems on one another will continue to be uncovered. It is assumed for instance, that social and language systems have minimal relevance to scientific endeavours, but that is an entirely unfounded assumption.

A certain proportion of what is supposed to be scientific research is in fact educationally based faerie foraging, resourced on the basis of promising sightings. Fossicking around for the philosopher's stone, looking for cancer cures, hunting for black holes or missing links and so on, may all evolve into foraging for the ephemeral. If funds are made available to search for faeries then methods will be devised whereby they can be found whether they are there or not, thus justifying the continuation of funding. Anything is counted that seems promising, and all the unexpected inconveniences are ignored and deemed irrelevant.

There are as many rogues in the scientific community as in any other sector so that it is inevitable that some so-called science will be fraudulent. The supposition that 'scientific' conclusions will have been independently verified is not always supported in practice because other human dispositions and priorities take precedence. Science is permeated as much as any other social grouping with the usual factors of deception, greed, war, economics, egotism and altruism. There appears to be some science conducted under an open forum banner, but much continues to be secret and driven by the usual demands of self-interested commercialism and the imperatives of war.