Science is merely the practice of reverse engineering the parts of the universe we observe and care about.

(HT: Professor Edgar Andrews)

We learn physics as a set of mathematics that tell us how the world behaves. It is easy for someone to get confused and think that these mathematics define that behavior. No. The mathematics were worked out in reverse by observing behavior and using math to put together a useful way of explaining, categorizing, and predicting observations. It’s no different than getting a gadget, taking it apart, and trying to figure out how it works.

It is always possible that the math is wrong. Often we find that learning one thing about the universe implies something else when we work out the math. Often we also discover that our math is broken when we devise an experiment to test the math and the universe behaves in a way that no longer fits.

Deconstructing reality this way tells us how reality behaves, but it does not tell us why. If you want to know the why, you have to leave physics behind and enter the realm of metaphysics and religion.

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Copyright © 2016 Sterling Hanenkamp.