||05-29-2011 07:13 AM
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H
You make an incorrect assumption, and no it is not ok. You assume that if the equations work, the theory is correct. This not a logical statement. The equations can work, within limited bounds, but the theory can be wrong, or there can be alternate theories that lead to better equations and make more sense.
I do not assume that if theory works it is completely correct or complete. I assume that if equations work, the theory can be used for practical purposes. I.e. the theory is correct to some extent
but may be incomplete
. Once you run into situation when equations no longer work, then you'll have to refine the theory or find different theory. As long as the theory produces expected results, it is okay to use it, even if you don't "believe" in it.
In "religion" thread there were a few decent arguments, and on of them (#1313 , by reed9, who also provided an interesting link
("The Relativity of Wrong" by Isaac Asimov) to read) said that the job of science is to provide mathematical models for real-world phenomena. If this is correct, then (with exception of mathematics) you'll always be working with theories that may be incomplete, or may not describe behavior of real world in all possible situations. In this case you'll have to use a theory until you run into situation where theory no longer works, and then you'll have to refine or replace the theory. As far as I know, science has been working this way for centuries (if not thousands of years), and this is perfectly fine. As I understand it, quantum physics is just another model of real world - it is not a "knowledge in its final form", and the model may be improved/replaced many times later. As I understand it, it isn't different from software development - based on specifications you build a model and keep improving it until it meets the specification (which may change over the time) and there are no more noticeable bugs.
As I said before, you seem to be thinking in binary mode - it is either "always correct" or "is BS". I'd suggest to read the "Relativity of Wrong"
and apply a bit of fuzziness to your thinking. The whole scientific business seems like an iterative development for me - make a theory, run into problem, refine or replace the theory, repeat forever. So I can't understand what's the big deal with you and quantum mechanics - it is not a religious scripture.